Transition services

Transition to independence is about planning and supporting young people who have been in statutory care to move into independence. Young people are provided with support to develop the skills and support network they will need to live independently once they leave statutory care.

We provide assistance and advice on issues like getting financial or study help, maintaining bank accounts, payment for a course of study/apprenticeship/traineeship, or getting a drivers licence. Young people are also assisted in developing life skills and attending courses such as life skills workshops, cooking or budgeting. They can also access counselling and support services and we help them reconnect with their family.

The ability to live independently is a core focus and our Supported Independent Living service enables young people to make the transition from foster or residential care to supported independent living. In this program the young person lives in shared accommodation in the community, usually with one or two others, and contributes towards their rent and other living expenses. It is available to those aged between 15 and 18 years of age and is funded by the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services.

 

Supported Independent Living

Helping young people transition to independence

Our Supported Independent Living Service is focused on assisting young people currently in out-of-home care to transition to independence.

Young people are provided with support to develop the skills and community networks they will need to live independently once they leave care or turn 18.

We provide assistance and advice on issues like getting financial or study help, maintaining bank accounts, payment for a course of study/apprenticeship/traineeship, or getting a drivers licence. Young people are also assisted in developing life skills and attending courses, such as life skills workshops, cooking or budgeting. They can also access counselling and support services. We also help them develop the skills to safely and positively reconnect with their family.

In this program, the young person lives in shared accommodation in the community, usually with one or two others, and contributes towards their rent and other living expenses. It is available to those aged between 15 and 17 years of age and is funded by the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services.

Our Supported Independent Living Service offers:

•   Supported independent living residential accommodation for 15-17 year olds within the community
•    Fully-furnished accommodation
•    Two-bedroom units (in most cases)
•    Individualised support and mentoring – varying from 5 to 25 hours per week
•    Access to support from a Lead Tenant (dependent on location)
•    Tenancy management by CofCC Housing Services (Ipswich and Logan)
•    Access to other Churches of Christ services such as Housing services, Social Enterprise, CYCLE Education Program and Volunteer services
•    Care planning meetings with the Department every 4 to 6 weeks
•    Partially subsidised rent with the young person contributing a portion of their income.

How young people benefit:

Our service gives young people physical, emotional and social support whilst they learn new life skills.  In addition to providing a safe, secure and comfortable home environment, we help young people with:
•    Budgeting and financial management
•    Maintaining a healthy home
•    Job-seeking skills
•    Planning and preparing nutritional meals
•    Accessing support services
•    Developing health and safe personal and community networks
•    Accessing education, training and employment opportunities
•    Finding further accommodation, when appropriate
•    Life diary work.

 

CYCLE Education Program

Churches of Christ Care’s CYCLE – Believe and Achieve education program provides direct education support to young people in out-of-home care who are shown by research to be at higher risk of disengagement or exclusion from mainstream or alternative education.

CYCLE was developed to encourage successful outcomes for these young people, including positive educational experiences and paid employment. The program individually addresses educational and developmental needs of each young person with a focus on those who are currently not participating in mainstream education. The goal is to increase the young person’s literacy and numeracy skills, and address gaps in their education so they can return to full time, mainstream education and/or seek paid employment.

They key objective of the program include:
•    Increase young people’s engagement with education, including school attendance where possible.
•    Re-engage young people in an education program appropriate to their needs.
•    Improve the young person’s academic ability, particularly literacy and numeracy.
•    Advocate and educate school personnel in relation to the unique needs of young people who have histories of adversity and trauma.
•    Develop a trauma-informed approach to working with young people in out-of-home care to support positive educational outcomes.
•    Help participants transitioning to independence with functional literacy and numeracy.
•    Encourage continued engagement with education, vocational training or employment when independent.

Positive educational and employment experiences increase the likelihood that young people who have experienced significant early adversity, will be physically and emotionally healthier and more likely to obtain and sustain ongoing education and employment. For many young people, the CYCLE program is also an opportunity to break the cycle of intergenerational abuse, neglect and welfare intervention within their families.

Sara’s Story
Sara is 17 years old and has lived in the care of Churches of Christ Care since she was13. She was removed from her mother’s care when she was just four years old. Prior to her placement in Church of Christ Care’s residential home, Sara had twelve different foster and residential care placements. Her six brothers and sisters were placed under different carers across the state. She has lost contact with them and her extended family. After being subject to a history of physical, sexual and emotional harm, including being exposed to substance misuse, Sara like many other children and young people under child protection orders, found herself living in out-of-home care.

Since being supported by Churches of Christ Care, Sara is finally experiencing stability with her home life. However, having attended numerous schools throughout her childhood, she found it difficult to learn and develop positive peer relationships. Every time she switched schools, the school work was always different even for the same grade level. This made it very hard to stay motivated with her education. Through the support of Churches of Christ Care’s CYCLE Believe and Achieve program, Sara has now enrolled in a TAFE course and recently completed her first assessment, achieving a score of 100%. Sara is now well on her way to completing her TAFE course and working towards her career goal of becoming a police officer.

 

Lead Tenant Program

What is the Lead Tenant Program?

The Lead Tenant Program provides placements for young people in a house with the support of volunteer lead tenants who provide appropriate role-modelling through their own engagement in education, employment, self-care, communication and positive behaviour. Lead tenants establish positive and meaningful relationships with the young people, providing opportunities to develop their social skills and participate in recreational activities. The young people are also supported by a case manager and youth worker.

The aim of the Lead Tenant Program is to assist young people transition from foster and residential care to living independently in the community. The program is designed to encourage young people to engage in their own progress towards being responsible members of the community and ultimately their positive independence. Therefore, young people in the program are expected to be involved in ‘earning and learning’, being either school or work. They are also expected to be involved in duties within their place of residence, such as cooking and cleaning.

Aims of Lead Tenant Program:
•    To provide safe and stable accommodation for young people in Churches of Christ Care’s Supported Independent Living Services (SILS).
•    To provide young people with lead tenants who act as mentors by being a role model to them.
•    To create a safe environment for young people to transition towards adulthood and living independently in their community.
•    To support young people in their SILS activities.
•    To respect, encourage and support young people’s cultural and spiritual journey.

The Lead Tenant Program offers young people in departmental care the opportunity to develop important life skills in order to prepare them for their transition to independent living. The presence of volunteer lead tenants provides positive role models for these young people in a safe and comfortable home environment. The health and wellbeing of the lead tenants is a high priority in the program so that all involved enjoy the optimum benefits. Everything within the Lead Tenant Program is designed to enable the volunteer to make a positive and life changing difference for young people.