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Transition to Independence Month is In the Spotlight

by PeakCare Qld on 21st October 2015

Home -> Articles -> 2015 -> October -> Transition to Independence Month is In the Spotlight

Each year approximately 500 young people exit care to live independently. Focusing on young people’s journeys to independence is the aim of Transition to Independence Month (T2I Month). Held each November, it’s an initiative of G Force, a State-wide group comprising government and non-government organisations. Chaired by the CREATE Foundation, young consultants with a care experience attend G Force meetings and provide leadership to the group on key topics whilst also offering regular direct input.

The launch this year will be on November 5th hosted by the North Coast Region at the Sunshine Coast University. Each year G Force aims to launch T2I Month in a different region across Queensland.

During November sector leaders and practitioners across Queensland are asked to engage with opportunities to increase the awareness of the significance of transitioning to independence for young people exiting care. This includes sharing the key messages of Transition to Independence Month via events in local communities, professional development morning teas in organisations or fun activities with young people whereby challenges and opportunities can be addressed. There are various other creative options. Those holding events are asked to contact to ensure that each event is noted and efforts and innovation are acknowledged. Numerous events have already been planned. G Force Chair, Lucas Moore is impressed by the level of uptake with regard to T2I Month: “With the T2I Month initiative entering its 5th year I am heartened by the commitment of young people, carers, frontline workers and our sector leaders to this important issue.”

The theme for 2015’s T2I Month is: All aboard for the next step. This denotes the importance of young people transitioning with support and key people around them to whom they are connected. It also highlights the new Next Step After Care services and aims to raise further awareness of these. The Next Step After Care services aim to provide young people multiple ways of accessing support as and when they need it, regardless of where they live in Queensland. These services, funded by the Queensland Government, mark the first targeted post-care support available for all young people leaving care up to the age of 21 years. The aim is to improve life opportunities and outcomes for young people as they transition to being independent young adults in our communities. It is recognised that some young people may already be receiving the support they need from family members or others from within their community or networks. For other young people there may be other reasons for them being reluctant to seek support. The aim is, as far as possible, to engage young people and assist them to access the support they are entitled to receive in ways that are meaningful and useful to them.

The Key Messages of Transition to Independence Month are: Young people need to be in the driver’s seat when planning their transition in order that they know they have agency and the ability to make decisions but aren’t alone when doing so and shared responsibility for the long haul. Shared responsibility includes all across government and non-government agencies and in the community including housing, health, education, training and wellbeing support services. All involved need to work in partnership and fulfil their respective roles in facilitating positive life opportunities and outcomes for young people as they transition to independence.

“This is truly a grassroots initiative, driven by a passionate commitment to celebrating the achievements of young people and ensuring their transition from care to adulthood is one that leaves them in the best possible position for a successful and happy adult life. I am proud that our sector has united under this common cause, but we need to bring the broader community along with us – a cultural shift is needed to understand the shared responsibility we have to young people transitioning from caresaid Lucas Moore.

G Force members led by CREATE staff have been busily preparing resources to share throughout Transition to Independence Month to assist in enhancing knowledge of the issues inherent for young people as they move towards adulthood and independence. These resources are available at the T2I Month page