Department program

Navigator Program

Expansion of the Navigator Program to three new areas

The Department is pleased to announce that three new Areas will commence Navigator services in January 2020.

The new areas are

  • Wimmera South West
  • North Eastern Melbourne
  • Barwon

​The Navigator program supports young people aged 12-17 years who are not connected to schools at all or are at risk of disengaging.

It provides intensive case management and assertive outreach support to disengaged learners. The program works with these young people and their support networks to return them to education.

Navigator is delivered by community agencies that work closely with local schools and area teams to support a young person to re-engage back into education.

Navigator service providers are responsible for improving outcomes for young people, linking them to support services and interventions, and working with schools to support re-engagement planning.



Make a referral to the navigator program


The program was initially launched as a pilot in eight areas across the state. After a successful pilot, the Victorian government has committed $44 million to continue Navigator in the existing areas and expand the program statewide over the next three years.

The expansion of Navigator is to be phased over 2019-2021, with the program to commence in three new areas per year. In January 2020, Navigator will commence in:

  • Barwon
  • Wimmera South West 
  • North Eastern Melbourne areas.​


The 2018-19 budget included $44 million to expand the successful Navigator program to communities across the state to help keep more young Victorians engaged in education and attending school every day.

This reflects government’s commitment to breaking the link between disadvantage and better life opportunities and supports its target to halve the proportion of students leaving school between years 9 to 12 over the next 10 years.

The expansion of Navigator is to be phased over 2019-2021. Previously, $16.9 million has been invested in the Navigator program up to the end of 2018.

How Navigator fits with other programs

There is no Victorian or Commonwealth funding that delivers direct support to young people who are disengaged and not enrolled at school to support re-engagement. The Navigator service is filling this gap.

There are two existing complementary services funded by the Victorian government:

  • $8 million is provided per year for school focused youth services, who work within schools to support young people at risk of disengaging.
  • $32 million is being provided over four years to local learning and employment networks to continue supporting young people at risk of disengaging with education, training and employment opportunities.

Neither of these services provide direct support to disengaged young people, which is where Navigator will come in.

Evaluation of pilot program

An impact evaluation of the initial Navigator pilot was conducted between March and July 2017.  It examined the extent to which the Navigator model was implemented successfully in the eight pilot Areas as well as the overall impact of the program.

The evaluation highlighted the value of the model in supplementing efforts by schools to re-engage students with multiple and complex barriers to education.

It also indicated that the program was achieving increases in key engagement indicators for young people, such as readiness for education and levels of wellbeing.

Most importantly, the impact evaluation showed early successes of the program in returning young people to education.

Summary of the evaluation (docx - 68.49kb)