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Reflections on Transition to Independence Month - November 2016

by PeakCare Qld on 1st December 2016

Home -> Articles -> 2016 -> December -> Reflections on Transition to Independence Month - November 2016

Each November, G Force, a state wide working group chaired by the CREATE Foundation and encompassing multiple partners in government and non-government services committed to the positive transition of young people from care to independence, focuses its attention on ensuring that the experiences of children and young people who have lent their voices to improving this transition are heard. Their voices are combined with shared practice resources, research and wisdom to ensure that transitioning from care to independence is a positive experience for young people, and is the key to Transition to Independence Month (T2I) in Queensland.

T2I month is an initiative of G Force. G Force aims to share knowledge, practice and advice to practitioners and policy makers. Participation of children, young people and professionals in the child protection system is vital to ensuring that children and young people have a say in the decisions that affect their lives. G Force is focused on achieving best practice regarding: the active participation and inclusion of children and young people in out of home care in their community and in decisions that affect their lives and quality support options for young people in out-of-home care transitioning to independence.

The theme for T2I month in 2016 was Road to Independence – Journey to Success. The events held around Queensland throughout November embodied the theme. This year, T2I month included many Queensland events that shared the key messages of what young people need as they journey towards Independence.

On Saturday, 5th November the T2I state-wide launch took place at Riverway, Townsville. This event was well attended by 126 children, young people, carers, Departmental staff and non-government organisations and private businesses that supported this important occasion. Townsville organiser Anne Taylor, Principal Community Services Officer, Far North Queensland, was delighted with the participation of all key stakeholders involved. In particular, she applauded the participation of young people: “Taz Clay, a former young person in care was the MC for the official launch and did a DEADLY job. This young man captured the audience and everyone was in a buzz about his personality and presence. It was great to have Lucas Moore, CREATE, Teena Ingram, Acting Regional Director, Child Safety, North Queensland, Belinda Mayfield, Acting State Director, Life Without Barriers and Aaron Harper, Member for Thuringowa as guest speakers on the day. However, the powerful stories shared by the young people, Taz, Telicia and Celine stole the show.”

Several events were held in Townsville throughout T2I Month. These events were focused on key social issues impacting young people in the community such as identity, culture, housing, education, employment, training, independent living skills and holistic health which included the importance of taking care of body, mind and spirit.

On 19th November,Careers Australia hosted the T2I 'Try a Trade' expo in collaboration with the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services (DCCSDS), Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships (DATSIP), Department of Justice and Attorney General (DJAG), Youth Justice and enVizion. enVizion provided practical and virtual reality experiences for young people. Careers Australia staff provided fun and interactive activities in Aged Care, Early Childhood, Engineering, Hospitality and Electro technology.

Other activities offered included:

  • Resume writing with young people who were enabled to take home a current resume
  • Skills & Career Test Analysis whereby students were asked to tick off as many skill sets in boxes numbered 1 to 7 that they thought best described them. Upon completion, the box with the most ticks identified what career options were likely to suit them
  • Interview techniques and tips
  • Developing a personal totem through responses to the questions: What is important to you? What do you want in life? How will you achieve what you want? Where do you see yourself in 3/6/12 months? Young people were also tasked with developing a positive affirmatione.g. “when the going gets tough, the tough gets going”

Townsville Creative Technologies College offered DiG IT course tasters on 29th November. These included:

• Certificate II Creative Industries – Animation (2D & 3D)
• Certificate II Information, Digital Media & Technology (Game Programming)
• Certificate II Music Industry (Music & Audio Production)
• Certificate II Creative Industries – Screen (Screen, Television and Interactive Media.

DiG IT also featured virtual reality experiences through enVizion and Townsville City Council provided the NAO Robot on site.

“All activities were a big hit with the young people and most advised they would come back again if we were to host a similar event”, said Anne Taylor. Townsville is looking forward to their final event for the year ‘You Can Do IT’ hosted by James Cook University in partnership with their Innovation and Transformation IT team on 7th December 2016.

Whilst Townsville clearly led the way with regard to T2I Month 2016, numerous outstanding events occurred across each region. South Burnett Transition from Care Program held their Annual TranZitions dinner on Friday, 18th November. The dinner celebrated all of the achievements of young people in the region over the past year. It also offered an opportunity for staff to show support for young people. The TranZitions program has been a great success and as such memories from the past year were shared. This formal meal celebration ensured an opportunity for young people to dress up and spend time with workers whilst reflecting on their achievements.

A brief snapshot of other events around Queensland is as follows:

Central Queensland Regional Child and Family Committee took place on Wednesday 9th November in Rockhampton with the theme being Transition from Care and Priority Access for children transitioning from care.

Bundaberg hosted an Outdoor Education Day on Tuesday 15th November. Logan also hosted their T2I Day event on this date.

Beenleigh’s T2I Activity Day on 16th November was all about fun via Cable Skiing. Cable Skiing took place in the morning, followed by lunch then an afternoon of information sharing by relevant organisations such as Next Step After Care and CREATE.

Rockhampton organised a Great Keppel Island boat trip on Saturday, 26th November.

A T2I Drop In Day was hosted by CREATE on 30th November as the finale to T2I Month 2016. This event was an expo for young people that turned CREATE Queensland’s office into a mini fair ground, complete with popcorn machines, food trucks and rides. Of course, many organisations were also in attendance to offer information and referrals.

This year T2I month also boasted a Community Services Announcement (CSA) by Channel 7, presented by Kay McGrath. This marks the first year that a CSA has been broadcast to the wider public via commercial television to celebrate young people and highlight their needs as they transition from care to independence.

Significant T2I resources were shared widely across Queensland. Hashtag initiatives were also circulated throughout the month to encourage staff working with young people to share what they value about them and what they’d like young people to see in themselves that workers already see.

So many events were held around Queensland during T2I Month 2016. To ensure your event is recognised please ensure you log your event with Kelly.Bucknall@create.org.au.

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