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Supported Independent Living Services (SILS) in the Spotlight

by PeakCare Qld on 26th November 2015

Home -> Articles -> 2015 -> November -> Supported Independent Living Services (SILS) in the Spotlight

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Supported independent living is provided to young people as a transitional process from foster, kinship or residential care in preparation for independent living. Young people live in residential premises either individually or with one or two other young people. They are supported by practitioners who visit the premises and offer transitional support. Several organisations across Queensland provide supported independent living options to young people.

Whilst the age group deemed most likely to access these services are 15-17 year olds, some services cater to young people up until the age of 21. Supported independent living assists young people in preparing for independence across the range of wellbeing indicators required for them to access life opportunities and participate fully in the community.

Through supported independent living services young people are offered:

  • Relationship skills – including reparation of relationships as well as the building of those identified by young people as important to their development and wellbeing
  • Budgeting and financial skills
  • Skills in running a household and ensuring their capacity to live in positive environment
  • Employment seeking and work skills
  • Nutrition and health skills
  • Support in accessing and/or maintaining education
  • Support in gaining long term accommodation
  • Referral and access to other support services
  • Support in building long term connections to enhance their support system and ensure their immediate, short and long term wellbeing.

The Supported Independent Living services (SILS) provide a key resource when it comes to supporting young people in their transition from care to independence. SILS is a well-known and much sought after program. Whilst much of the feedback from young people is positive, those operating such programs are cognisant of the importance of continuing to learn from young people’s experiences to further improve the services offered. Such feedback from key stakeholders such as government and non-government workers across the continuum is also important for program improvement.

So far, feedback is that SILS has the capacity to genuinely provide a service with regard to both accommodation and support that holistically meets the needs of young people transitioning from care to independence. As such, enhancing these opportunities offered to young people by listening to feedback and embedding messages from research into service delivery allows for continuous improvement.

Transition to Independence (T2I) Month is now! November is a month for us all across the sector to reflect on the importance of transitioning young people from care to independence in a manner that recognises their individual needs across the gamut of personal, emotional, social, physical and mental health, educational, financial and environmental considerations. This work includes collaborative practice with other programs of assistance available to young people and building relationships with various formal and informal support options in both the wider service system and communities.

What is it about the SILS program that works well for young people and what are the avenues for improvement? G-Force is asking the question.

G-Force is a state wide work group chaired by the CREATE Foundation that comprises government and non-government organisations. The work of G-Force is grounded in the opinions of young people with an out-of-home care experience with CREATE Foundation Young Consultants participating directly and indirectly in the group.

G-Force is intent on ensuring that the voices of young people are heard and acknowledged in its aim to work towards systemic and practice improvement for children and young people in care and transitioning to independence. In meeting this goal G-Force aims to support those working with young people in out-of-home care to ensure that they have the practical information, practice supports and resources necessary to provide quality services to young people whilst they’re experiencing the care system and as they transition to independence.

G-Force also provides all key stakeholders with opportunities to offer feedback and experiences. Those on the front line to the highest level policy makers are included with the aim to enhance the service system and in turn improve direct services to children and young people. The opportunity to offer feedback about Supported Independent Living services is one such example.

G-Force is seeking feedback from those who are part of the following groups:

  • Young People
  • Non-Government Organisations
  • Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services

G-Force is asking those noted above to become survey participants and respond to the key question: What works in Supported Independent Living services/programs? By answering a few simple questions, aimed at improving supported independent living opportunities for young people, organisations may glean comprehensive feedback from those they most need to hear from to ensure quality services to young people in the significant phases of their life journey as they transition from care to independence.

To find out more about the intent and process of the SILS feedback project click here

Your feedback can be provided by answering a few short and very simple questions through the survey monkey links below or you can print the Survey Monkey form and email it to

Young Person click here

Employee - Non Government Organisation click here

Employee - Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services click here