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 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.