Connecting You (HYAP)
Everyone goes through tough times and sometimes young people and families need a hand.
Connecting You helps young people (aged 12-15) from Tweed Heads to Grafton who are having problems at home, or who are at risk of becoming homeless, to get connected with family, friends, work, school, and the community.
Referrals to Connecting You come from the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS).
Connecting You provides practical and emotional support for young people and their families. We help with things like:
- Improving relationships – support to maintain/rebuild connections with family and extended family and other supports in the community;
- Family Mediation;
- Goal setting;
- Connecting with school/training/work; and
- Finding out what young people like to do and helping connect them with activities.
Qualified workers can travel to meet you where possible. A worker is linked to each young person and family members to help in sorting things out with their family; help them to stay in school or other educational options; and help find somewhere safe to stay if necessary.
Frequently Asked Questions for HYAP Family Carer
1. What does the day in the life of a HYAP Family Carer look like?
As a HYAP Faily Carer, you will be expected to provide a safe and nurturing home environment for young people aged 12-15 years who are experiencing homelessness. Young people will be placed with you by our HYAP Case Managers for up to 28 days while they work with the young person and their family and extended family to heal ruptured family relationships and explore opportunities for long term, safe, supported accommodation.
In providing a home-like environment some of the daily tasks will include shopping for groceries, cooking nutritious meals, assisting young people with their day-to-day activities, and supporting the well-being of the young people.
To be successful in this role you will have the resilience, maturity, emotional intelligence and the mentoring skills to provide a safe, stable and supportive home environment.
Family Carers must demonstrate an understanding of the importance of the origins, culture and past experience of the young person and support the ongoing contact and family restoration work of the HYAP Case Manager.
2. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family Carers
Our service is committed to supporting young people’s connection to kinship and culture and is very keen to recruit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Family Carers.
3. What training is involved?
HYAP Family Carers will complete an assessment process that involves a number of probity checks, participating in several interviews, and attending three days of mandatory carer training. Carers will also receive specialised training in adolescent development, the impact of trauma, and therapeutic behaviour support.
4. What benefits do HYAP Family Carers receive?
The Family Carer role attracts:
- A retainer to ensure that they are available exclusively to support the HYAP program. This will be supplemented with a nightly accommodation placement allowance consistent with OOHC intensive foster care rates.
- Specialised training, including how to support young people affected by trauma.
- Intensive support from Pathfinders therapeutic specialists, and Social Futures case managers.
5. What if I have my own children at home?
HYAP Family Carers will focus on working collaboratively with Social Futures case managers to support family restoration and to meet the young people’s needs. Some young people will need more support than others. For this reason, the role will suit people who don’t have dependent children at home. If you have adult children at home this can be considered and they need the same probity checks as you.
6. Do I need to be an Australian citizen?
Yes, you need to have Australian citizenship or permanent residency.
7. Do I need a driver’s licence?
Yes, you need a current NSW drivers licence.
8. Can I be a HYAP Family Carer if I work full-time?
Carers can be part of a couple, single, studying, retired or working. However one carer must be able to provide full-time care to the young people in the home.
9. What is the policy around pets?
A pet can be a great therapeutic companion for young people experiencing trauma and distress, but of course it depends on the nature, breed and temperament of the pet and the individual needs of the young people We will discuss this with you and come to an agreement about what is in the best interests of the young people.
10. What does the accommodation have to look like?
Family Carers should have adequate, safe accommodation for a young person. This does not mean that applicants should necessarily own their own home. A young person needs to have their own bedroom.
11. What is the level of expectation for the carer? Are they supposed to ‘parent’ the young people in their care?
HYAP Family Carers are expected to provide the young people with a nurturing, supportive stable home environment and work collaboratively with Pathfinders and Social Futures staff to meet the needs of the young people. Carers receive specialised training, including how to support young people experiencing trauma and separation from family, and support from Pathfinder’s therapeutic specialists, and Social Future’s staff. Our aim is to support young people to return home to their families as quickly as possible – as long as it is safe to do so. Social Futures staff will do this by working intensively with the young person, their parents and their extended family. The HYAP Family Carer is not expected to ‘parent’ the young people – they already have parents – but they do need to provide them with a loving, nurturing, supportive home.
12. How do I find out more?
For more info or to apply to become a HYAP Family Carer call 6620 1800 or email Jennifer.Parke@social futures.org.au
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