Transition program progressing

CARING: Transition to Adult Life Intensive Pilot Program mentors and case managers Sarah Rotherham, Stacey Gray, Child Protection Minister Rachel Sanderson, April Hughes, Amelia Grindell and Melissa Ireland.
CARING: Transition to Adult Life Intensive Pilot Program mentors and case managers Sarah Rotherham, Stacey Gray, Child Protection Minister Rachel Sanderson, April Hughes, Amelia Grindell and Melissa Ireland.

A recently-introduced state government pilot program is helping young people aged 15-25 in care with complex needs transition into adult life in Whyalla.

The Transition to Adult Life Intensive Pilot Program (TALI) is being delivered through Uniting Country SA and Centacare Catholic Country SA in partnership with the Department for Child Protection.

TALI sees case managers and mentors working with youths in the Iron Triangle to improve their life and help them reach key milestones.

Child Protection Minister Rachel Sanderson was in Whyalla on Wednesday to meet with local mentors and get an update on the outcomes from the program.

"It's been fantastic to meet the young mentors involved in this program," she said.

"We've heard today that some of the people being mentored have got their licences, they have re-engaged with employment, one is even starting to knit.

"This covers life skills which includes homes, cars, finances...it keeps them on track. These mentors have lived experience...they're using their life lessons to help other young people.

"The mentors are learning from the youths as well, so it's really a journey they're walking together."

Approximately 11 young people are currently being mentored in Whyalla in various stages.

TALI Senior Aboriginal Case Manager Stacey Gray said those in the program developed into capable adults that are able to achieve their goals in life.

"Young people are beginning to believe that they can achieve what they want to achieve, and probably much more than what they thought they could," she said.

Ms Gray said the program was driven by the youths, who develop a plan based on what they want in life.

"We walk alongside them and help connect them to the community, we help them believe in themselves," she said.

"Going from being a young person to an adult is really hard and can be scary for anyone. It's really important that we have support around these people to ensure they can make that transition."

The pilot will continue for two years, with the potential to be continued if successful.