Couch Surfing Students Research
21 April 2016
The Couch Surfing Students research study1 investigated the experiences and perceptions of and towards couch surfing secondary students in the Yarra Ranges Shire. The study aimed to highlight a better understanding of how to intervene earlier rather than later, as well as ensuring services are effective and efficient.
The research found that:
- Homelessness often starts early for many individuals
- School counselors and teachers are a primary source of advice and support for youth that have run away from home or who are homeless
- Half the sample did not consider themselves homeless
- Specialist homelessness services and schools play an important and intertwining role in supporting students with issues connected with homelessness
Recommendations from this study include:
- The presence of homeless youth services in schools
- Students and teachers need to be more educated about homelessness
- Immediate support to in-crisis students need to be available at schools, including accommodation and other support
- Reconsider the term "homelessness'
To download the full report, please see Centre for Social Impact: Couchsurfing Students - The Yarra Ranges Youth Homelessness Prevention Project.
The Couch Project run by the Salvation Army brings this knowledge to students and schools with their workshops. The Couch Project has a strong emphasis on the changing the negative perception of homelessness, it also provides participants with valuable information of resources available for individuals experiencing homelessness, and also teaches of the warning signs and how you can help get support.
1 Thielking, M., Flatau, P., La Sala, L., and Sutton, D. (2015). Couch Surfing Students: The Yarra Ranges Youth Homelessness Prevention Project. Anchor Youth Services, the Outer Eastern Local Learning and Employment Network (OELLEN), Swinburne University and the University of Western Australia Centre for Social Impact.