CatholicCare offers a Supported Independent Living program (SIL) for 16 and 17-year-olds moving into adulthood and ready to become part of the community.
To be considered for SIL, applicants must be:
- referred to the program by the Department of Communities and Justice
- entitled to a Centrelink payment
- aged over 16 and under 18, and with an order in place removing care from birth parents
- willing and able to attend education, work, and community events and activities.
Young adults referred to SIL meet with a caseworker to learn about the program, and the support they can expect. A willingness to achieve independence is important.
Young adults entering the SIL program are on the right track, and the good thing is they are not alone. They are trying to find their place in the world, and we provide assistance for their move to independent living. We also offer help:
- learning basic housekeeping skills
- sorting out finances
- continuing education
- finding a job.
Just as importantly we can offer advice on:
- parenting skills.
Just because young people leave care, care doesn’t leave them. The support network is robust and all-encompassing, and our staff will only seek help from those who understand the young people’s background.
We want those on SIL to successfully engage in the community. We want them to claim their place in the world.
SIL encourages and equips young people to develop necessary skills, take responsibility for making their own decisions and the consequences that go with that, and set and achieve their life goals. A key component of SIL is the effort of our caseworkers, ensuring each young person establishes strong community links in the areas of accommodation, education, employment and health so they have the knowledge and capacity to live independently once their involvement with CatholicCare ends.
In the following video, Blade Penman shares his thoughts on CatholicCare's Supported Independent Living program.