Youth Development

Every young person deserves a safe and secure home to grow up in.

Our approach to supporting young people is based on an Advantaged Thinking model. We focus on identifying, developing and investing in young people’s talents and aspirations, thereby enabling them to thrive and establish sustainable lives. Youth Development Services integrates housing, education, employment and counselling to support young people.

The programs we offer include:

  • Foyer program to support young people in education who don’t have stable housing
  • Private Rental Program that supports young people to find and sustain housing
  • Family Reconciliation services to support young people who are experiencing challenging relationships
  • Youth Opportunity Landscape to provide connection to community, employment, volunteering and recreational opportunities

More information about these services are below. If you need support, you can contact us via or call 03 9738 7003.

Family Reconciliation

Our Family Reconciliation Program provides family inclusive counselling for young people between the ages of 15-25 years to work through resolving present and past conflict. Our Family Therapist works alongside young people and their families to rebuild relationships through regular therapy sessions. Our family therapist also provides single session therapy and secondary consolations.

For further enquiries please call 0439 832 356 or email

Youth Foyer

The Lilydale Youth Foyer provides accommodation and support for young people who are motivated to engage in education but don’t have stable housing.

We provide:

  • A safe, secure and affordable place to live and study
  • Skills, knowledge and resources to achieve personal goals
  • Activities designed to build confidence, a sense of community and living skills
  • Access to relevant service providers, local community groups, education and employment opportunities
  • Information and resources to help young people find accommodation after they leave Foyer

For more information on the Foyer model click here.


The eligibility requirements are applicable from intake and continue throughout each student’s stay at Foyer. To be eligible for the Foyer, young people must be:

  • Aged 16 to 21 and with no stable housing to support their education
  • Linked to Lilydale or surrounding areas
  • Receiving a stable income
  • Willing to stay engaged in education, employment, and training
  • Motivated to get involved in community, volunteering and employment
  • Able to manage mental health or AOD challenges
  • Motivated to participate in the Foyer Life and Living Skills program and its community

 If you are an organisation referring a young person on their behalf, please complete the Lilydale youth foyer referral form.

If you are young person who would like to apply directly, please print off and complete the Initial Readiness Form.

More information can be found in our Youth Foyer Brochure , by calling 9738-7003 or emailing

LP’s Story

I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for Anchor.

When ‘JP’ was 17 he left his home and went into refuge due to a relationship breakdown with his family. He moved into a Foyer property and started the program with the other students, attending workshops, program activities and developing the life skills he needed to live independently.

During his stay JP finished year 11 and started an apprenticeship. He was supported to get his learners permit and was referred to the L2P program, he accessed counselling and competed his Certificate I in Developing Independence. When his time in the program ended he worked with the Private Rental Program worker who supported him to find share housing and provided him with financial assistance to establish the tenancy.

Private Rental Brokerage

The Creating Connections Private Rental Brokerage (PRB) Program aims to support young people who are ready to live independently in in a share-house or private tenancy. The Private Rental Brokerage Program is managed by Family Access Network (FAN) in the inner east and Anchor Inc in the outer east.


The program can provide:

  • Information and support to look for and apply for private rental tenancies (including subletting share-house options)
  • Funding for rent, Rent in Advance, whitegoods, or essential household goods to establish a tenancy
  • Information regarding tenancy rights and responsibilities


To be eligible for the PRB program you must meet the following criteria:

  • Young person aged 16 to 25 years of age in the outer Eastern Metropolitan region (Maroondah, Yarra Ranges or Knox)
  • Linked in with a key support worker with proven engagement and meeting case plan goals
  • Are at risk of homelessness or experiencing homelessness.

If you wish to apply for Private Rental Brokerage, you can download the application form.

If you wish to make a referral on behalf of a young person, please complete the online referral form.

For further enquiries please call 0439 837 500 or email

Couch surfing and youth homlessness

In 2015, we actioned research into youth homelessness and found the most common type of youth homelessness was couch surfing. This research, commissioned alongside Swinburne University, The Centre for Social Impact, The University of Western Australia and OELLEN explores the link between homelessness and education, finding schools and wrap-around services are at the core of preventing and overcoming youth homelessness.

Read the report here.

Breakpoint - Research Results


first ran away during primary school


first left home due to family conflict


never considered themselves homeless when staying with others short-term
The Couch Surfing Secondary Students (CSSS): Yarra Ranges Youth Homelessness Prevention Project ­– a joint research partnership between Anchor, the Outer Eastern Local Learning and Employment Network, Swinburne University and the University of Western Australia Centre for Social Impact.

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