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Shining the light on Transitioning to Independence

by PeakCare Qld on 31st October 2013

Home -> Articles -> 2013 -> October -> Shining the light on Transitioning to Independence


November is Transition to Independence (T2I) month.

This is a time to reflect on best practice and share opportunities to improve the supports offered to young people through their transition from care to independence.
G Force, led by its Chair, the CREATE Foundation has collated a number of resources and developed information guides for practitioners. These have been mailed out to organisations around Queensland.

These resources are also availablehere

In a timely fashion, the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services joined with the CREATE Foundation to hold a Transition from Care Forum (also known as Transition to Independence) at the Commission for Children, Young People and Child Guardian on October 30th.

The forum was attended by a plethora of practitioners and policy makers across government (both state and federal) and non-government organisations. The numbers in attendance exceeded all expectations and the forum was literally jam packed with professionals who shared ideas aimed at ensuring positive ways forward in supporting children and young people in their transition from care to independence.

A number of CREATE young people facilitated groups, shared their experiences and offered a real life analysis of the issues. Their generosity afforded professionals in attendance the opportunity to reflect on practice in light of young people’s feedback.

Paul Testro, the forum’s facilitator is now tasked with the significant undertaking of writing up the commentaries from these enigmatic discussions in order to assist us all in forging forward in improved practice and processes in supporting young people transitioning from care to independence. We aim to highlight the outcomes of this forum and bring you in depth information gleaned during T2I Month.

In the meantime, three take home messages from the forum:

  • Relationships are key for young people in their care, transitioning from care to independence and post care experiences.
  • Flexibility of support arrangements is essential. Program and funding guidelines may denote what is required of organisations or carers yet young people’s needs and human experiences may require something quite different. For example a residential care service where a young person has built significant relationships withdrawing support to them when they turn age 18 due to contractual arrangements doesn’t honour the needs of the young person or the genuineness of the relationships and support function the practitioner has established with the young person. Such flexibility also requires that financial supports may be ‘banked’ until required. For example a young person aiming for university but having a gap year may require an amount of funding to be held aside until this goal is able to be fulfilled.
  • Normalising the experience of care, transition and post care requirements whilst also recognising the additional supports required of young people without a solid home base to return to when life happens. This includes issues such as young people making decisions or accepting decisions made about employment or education or living arrangements then either changing their minds or facing blockages to such choices and the gamut of factors that can impact change for those recently exiting education, statutory care or other similar life experiences.

This forum segued to November as Transition to Independence (T2I) Month. The Honourable Tracy Davis MP, Minister for Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services will officially launch T2I Month on November 5th at the Edmund Rice Alternative Education Centre in Ipswich. Transition to Independence Month highlights the importance of sound transitioning from care to independence processes whilst also assisting practitioners and policy makers in ensuring best practice. The intent is that all involved in transitioning young people from care to independence offer clear information and holistic support when assisting young people in this significant and complex transition.

If you have a T2I program or support initiative you’d like to share with us to benefit practitioners across the sector, please contact Lorraine Dupree: ldupree@peakcare.org.au and we can show case your initiative throughout T2I month via PeakCare e-news and G Force.