Transition to Independence Month (T2I Month) is held in November each year. It aims to raise awareness in the child protection sector and the broader community about the needs of young people as they transition from out of home care to independence each year. The theme: “Road to Independence… Journey to success” promotes the idea that a young person’s transition is a journey that takes time. The journey for young people to become independent and achieve holistic wellbeing requires a focus on their aspirations and goals that set the direction for their transition to adulthood.
Each year, over 500 young people exit statutory care to live independently. Assistance for these young people often comes from family, carers and community members, as well as government and non-government service providers. However, a number of young people make this transition without a formal or informal support network. T2I month aims to raise awareness of the needs of this cohort of young people whilst also working towards enhanced support for young people as they journey from care to independence.
Transition to Independence Month is coordinated by sub-committee of G Force, a sector-wide working party, chaired by the CREATE Foundation, comprising government and non-government organisations. Young people with a care experience play an active role in leading and contributing to the group’s work.
G Force membership includes:
Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services
Department of Education and Training
Foster Care Queensland
Non-Government service providers
Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak
Queensland Family and Child Commission
Department of Housing and Public Works
Office of the Public Guardian
This year the Transition to Independence Month launch will be hosted by the Central Queensland region in Yeppoon on Friday 3rd November. A series of interactive arts-based workshops incorporating music, digital media, circus skills, painting and dance, supported by the local community have been planned. The event will also launch a group of young people in out of home care as they embark on a 2-day adventure to Great Keppel Island.
The traditional owners of Great Keppel Island, the Woppaburra people, have gifted the event with the title Ari Oyi. The words Ari Oyi mean sun corroboree. Ari, the sun, is the provider of life with each new day and heals the land and all the people. Oyi, corroboree, is the way stories, dances, thoughts and emotions are shared.
The T2I Launch will boast the exhibition arising from the Ari Oyi digital art project
This year, T2I month celebrations will include the chance for young people in care to share their stories with other young people, carers and workers across the state. Young people are being urged to tell their stories through: paintings, poetry, creative writing, drawings, sculpture, photography, digital expression, dance, songs and storytelling which will highlight their journey in care, experiences of out of home care, their strengths and hopes for the future. All entries are to be received by Friday 13th October. For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Getting on board with T2I Month:
During November sector partners across Queensland are encouraged to participate in activities raising awareness of the significance of transitioning to independence for young people exiting care. This includes sharing the key messages of T2I Month through events in local communities, professional development within organisations or fun activities with young people whereby challenges and opportunities can be addressed.
To be involved, the following options are suggested:
- Talk to young people about Next Step After Care and how they can access support
- Hear from local young people about how they view transition to independence and ways in which they can be assisted to live independently.
- Organise a local event for young people to celebrate their achievements in becoming independent.
- Coordinate an art exhibition featuring works from young people.
- Hold a fun group activity with young people such as paddle boarding or go-karting and talk about the challenges and opportunities of transitioning to independence.
- Organise a T2I expo where local service providers, including Next Step After Care, can show case the ways in which they provide assistance to young people.
- Encourage young people to download the ‘Sortli’ App. This is a fun, informative and easy-to-navigate, free mobile app for young people to assist them with their transition to independence. Sortli is a pocket guide companion to services and support. It provides a step-by-step guide for all the important areas of a young person’s life and includes topics such as: finding a place to live, caring for their health, managing their budget, finding a job, engaging with training or education and general life skills.
T2I Month Resources
G Force has prepared a series of resources, ranging from short videos, research, one page factsheets and young people’s stories, to support organisations around Queensland in celebrating T2I Month. These are available on the CREATE Foundation website.
G Force would like to keep track of all who are holding events for T2I Month. Please log your event via email to email@example.com with a short description outlining the name of the event, a brief description, the location and the target audience. All logged events will receive a certificate of thanks and a show bag after T2I month.
For further information on T2I month, please contact Kelly Lotz at CREATE Queensland on (07) 3317 6020 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For young people leaving care and seeking support contact Next Step After Care on 1800 639 878 (call or text).