BABI Youth & Family Service, a not-for-profit organisation, began over 30 years ago in 1983 with volunteers in Wynnum responding to the needs of young homeless people by providing safe accommodation options and family mediation. Key pioneers were Marie Stokes and Reverend Wally Dethlefs, both whom continue to support BABI today.
BABI become an Incorporated Association in 1985, obtained funding, and over many years professionalised and grew to provide a range of services to support the children, youth and families of the Bayside region: supported accommodation for young people including young parents, prevention programs for young people at risk of leaving school or offending, youth drop-in space, counselling service, parenting programs, school holiday programs, community events, youth employment service, and training. In addition to responding to the needs of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged, BABI has incorporated some fee for service programs.
In 1999 BABI received national recognition and was highlighted and recommended by both The Burdekin Report into Youth Homelessness and the ABC documentary “Nobody’s Children”. BABI has contributed significantly to reducing the number of young people in our community entering the statutory child protection system, and enabling them to remain engaged in their community and school despite family difficulties.
Awards and Recognitions:
Winner of the 2004 Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Community Business Partnerships – BABI was the winner of the Small Business Award through partnership with Bayside Recruitment. The partnership enabled at-risk young people to gain better knowledge of the youth labour market and increase their access to employment. Media statement here.
Winner of 2006 Child Protection Week Award – in 2006, BABI received an Education Initiative Award for the Parenting and Enjoying Teenagers Program. Read Governments Media statement here. In 2016, BABI will be celebrating 30 years of running this program in the local community.
Winner of 2006 Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Award (Queensland) – Partnership between Queensland Police Service, BABI Youth and Family Service and the Queensland Department of Education and the Arts – UP Program, Brisbane. The purpose of the Upper Primary Program was to provide a leadership program for young males aged 11-12 years of age (school years 6-7), as well as to reduce the risk of children disengaging from the education system and transitioning into the youth justice system.
Winner of 2012 Police Commissioner’s gold lantern prize award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented and Partnership Policing in the Metropolitan South Region. Stop Harassing Me Postcard Project – In partnership with Qld Police Service, BABI designed a preventative education program to offer a positive resolution option for Bayside students who are subjected to acts of cyber-bullying.
Government policy shifts has had a significant effect on the sector including BABI, with reduced funding for existing programs and the cessation of others. Despite this competitive and challenging funding environment, BABI continues to serve the community by delivering high quality services to the children, youth and families in our community.
All of BABI’s services are delivered within a framework of strengths, respect and collaboration.
Presently BABI is in a phase of review, renewal, growth and expansion.