The Lead Tenant program is a semi-independent living program, where two adults from the community (volunteer 'Lead Tenants') and two young people share a house. The Lead Tenant program was established in 2010 and now operates with three properties located at Taylors Lakes, Altona Meadows and Kurunjang.
The Lead Tenant program is shared housing program with a difference. The program offers placements for up to two young people in a house, providing them with the opportunity to move closer to independence with the support of up to two Lead Tenants. Lead Tenants provide appropriate role-modelling through engagement in education, employment, self-care, communication and positive behaviour. Lead Tenants are there to establish positive and meaningful relationships with the young people, taking opportunities to develop the young person’s social and recreational skills.
The program is designed to encourage young people to engage in their own progress towards being responsible members of the community and ultimately their positive independence. Therefore, young people in the program are expected to be involved in a 'day program', being either school or work. They are expected to be involved in duties within their place of residence, such as cooking and cleaning.
Whilst in the program, each young person is assigned a Case Manager at Westcare. During this time they will also liaise with a Youth Housing Support Worker who assists the young person with looking for housing once they are ready to move into independent living. With case management-support focused on preparing young people for independence, up to six young people can be placed in the Lead Tenant program at any time. The program offers young people opportunities to develop a range of living skills by running classes, including cooking classes. The program also promotes the importance of healthy recreational activities and runs programs including art classes for both Lead Tenants and young people. These programs and activities allow the Lead Tenants to form relationships with young people and promote their sense of being connected and engagement with their community.
The program continues to grow and evolve, as the most recent property in Kurunjang will be ready for occupancy in early 2012. The Lead Tenant program is an important part of Westcare's services and provides young people with an appropriate pathway into independence. The program sits alongside the TSAY program and utilises Westcare partnerships with housing networks to ensure that young people are receiving the best service available when it come to transitioning them into independence.
For more information on the Lead Tenant program, please view the Lead Tenant Information Booklet