Transitional Youth Program

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The Transitional Youth Program works with young adults, ages 16-24, assisting and facilitating successful transitions from school to adult life.

Background:

Transitional Youth Initiatives Program was initiated July 2002. This initiative received provincial funding from Foundations Phase III under the Developmental Services Act. The funding is flowed through the Sioux Lookout & Hudson Association for Community Living.

Goal:

The focus of this initiative is to help young adults with developmental disabilities make successful transitions from school to a wide range of community involvements.

The ultimate goal of this initiative is for the participants to be able to make informed choices about future life directions with the hope they will learn enough skills to live a more qualitative independent life.

Who does the program serve?

The initiative targets young adults, ages 16-24, with developmental disabilities who:

  • Have just concluded their normal schooling: or
  • Have left the school system within the past two years; and,
  • Are currently not receiving accommodation supports funded by MCFCS (formally MCSS) and have minimal or no day program activities appropriate for their strengths and needs.
  • Living at home or independently.
  • In need of assistance in the transition from school to the next phase of their lives.

What will participants be doing?

Participants will have the opportunity to explore their community in relationship to work, life long learning, volunteer experiences, recreation and leisure. There will be an emphasis on a consumer driven approach which will lead to a wide range of activities being developed to respond to the unique needs and culturally appropriate preferences of participants and their families.

Key components will include but not limited to:

  • Self-directed planning
    • Involving individuals, families and other natural supports;
    • Establishing attainable goals and expectations (outcomes);
    • Emphasizing outcome measures that are focused on individuals strengths, needs and culturally appropriate preferences;
    • Including a range of culturally appropriate options for changing perspectives across the life span;
    • Ensuring opportunities for Individuals with more challenging needs and their families to define future goals beyond the scope of the transition years.
  • A series of competency building sessions (which may or may not be in small groups)
    • Training opportunities to build assertiveness and self-advocacy skills;
    • Understanding different types of relationships at work, home, friends;
    • Learning how to handle criticism, disappointments and change;
    • Exploring a range of community resources to enhance knowledge;
    • Learning opportunities to augment financial and home management skills;
    • Developing leadership skills for participants to become self-advocates and mentors.
  • Exposure to a broad range of experiences
    • Opportunities to contribute to the community while gaining skills and experience through volunteering;
    • Employment training opportunities, including partnership with the business community, or assistance with applications to ODSP Employment supports;
    • Social and recreational involvement including music, sports, cultural activities;
    • Continuing adult educational opportunities in literacy, numeracy, computer training, motor skills, or in other areas of interest (accessing post secondary institutions);
    • Opportunities for participants to "mix and match" a range of activities to facilitate meaningful involvements in the life of the community;
    • Mentoring conducted by more experienced self-advocates in a variety of roles

These services will identify needs, gaps in services and create linkages to assist young adults with self directed panning process.

Self Directed Planning

a.k.a. Person Centered Planning – as the name indicates – addresses all areas of an individual 's life, including health, human services, friendship, community involvement and family relations. It is a collaborative process to help individuals access the supports and services they need to lead a high quality of life – based on their own preferences and values.

Through this planning process, young adults will be able to determine choices among a range of community activities that will enable them to make a successful transition from school supports to the next phase of their lives.

These services will be organized and provided by the Transition Facilitator working in partnership with a wide variety of community agencies and businesses.

Admission/Criteria:

Participants will become involved with the program by choice. The intake process will be managed by the Transition Facilitator. The following criteria will apply:

  • Individuals must have an identified development disability;
  • Individuals must be leaving school, or have been out of school no more than two years;
  • Individuals must not be receiving accommodation supports funded by the Ministry of Community and Social Services, and presently have little or not daytime activities appropriate for their strengths and needs;
  • Individuals must reside within any of the First Nations Communities of the Sioux Lookout district;
  • Individuals and their families, along with other people significant to the individual, must agree to participate in a planning process that will identify outcomes to be achieved and supported.

Participants will exit from the program when:

  • They have successfully achieved their goals;
  • They choose to exit the program;
  • They have been able to demonstrate reasonable progress in achieving their goals within the seven years.

The facilitator will assist participants and their families at this time. Each participant will have an individualized exit plan which may include longer term employment and involvement in other community activities. Linkages with other community supports should be well established to ensure a smooth transition to future directions. The connection to existing providers as sponsors will be a real asset as the transfer will be seamless as individuals transfer to the adult services stream, if that is required.

Referrals:

Referrals are welcome by any concerned individual, family member, Schools and Nursing Stations, etc. The only requirement is that it should be with the consent of the referred individual or their primary caregiver.