Today on Youth Homelessness Matters Day, we spoke to Alyce Huggard, Continuing Care worker. The Continuing Care program is a part of our Transitional Services unit and prepares young people to lead healthy, positive and independent lives.
What is the Continuing Care program?
The Continuing Care program provides case management support to young people up to the age of 25, who have transitioned from the Out of Home Care system and who require on going post care support.
The program works alongside all of Westcare services to also provide support, resources and secondary consultation to support young people who are currently in Out of Home Care and transitioning into interdependence within the community, including ensuring that all care leavers have appropriate Continuing Care Plans.
Continuing Care also offers life skills and mentoring programs to provide young people with the skills that support their ability to live independently.
How does it provide support to young people and at-risk youth?
The program provides case management support options to any young person who has had involvement with the Out of Home Care system that is flexible to the individual including outreach support. The aim of the program is to work holistically alongside young people to identify what their current needs, and to develop a case plan with the young person that looks at goal setting to address these needs.
Continuing Care also supports appropriate transition planning and the development of Continuing Care Plans within Westcare services for young people transitioning from the Out of Home Care system and ensures that care leavers have been part of the planning process, the development of their individual Continuing Care Plans and are appropriately supported into interdependence when leaving care.
What is the FLIP program?
Continuing Care facilitates Westcare’s Future Lifeskills Information Program (FLIP) that is run over a 6-week program for young people aged 15-20 years with the aim to increase knowledge necessary to make informed decisions for their future.
The program is targeted at young people transitioning through care, leaving care, care leavers or those who are at risk of homelessness and focuses on increasing self-esteem and the development of independent living skills by covering topics such as alcohol and other drugs, housing options leaving care and budgeting for the future, cyber safety, self-care, cooking and much more.
How does TSAY help break down the cycle of youth homelessness?
The Transitional Supported Accommodation for Youth (TSAY) program sits alongside the Continuing Care program as part of Transitional Services within Westcare, and offers a range of support services to young people aged 16-20 years who are currently experiencing homelessness or those who are at risk of imminent homelessness.
The Continuing Care and TSAY programs collaboratively work together to ensure that care leavers are provided with assistance to access appropriate housing and accommodation options and play an important role in advocating for care leavers and ensuring that service providers have a better understanding of the vulnerability of care leavers and issues they face when transitioning from care.