21 October 2022

With the support of her Care Team, Samantha reconnects with her family and starts a new chapter in her life.

Image: A teenage girl with long brown hair wearing a pink singlet standing outdoors.

Samantha’s story is told by her support person, Ashleigh.

Transitioning from residential care into adulthood can be very daunting for young people. To bridge the gap between care and adulthood, Life Without Barriers’ Supported Independent Living Service (SILS) supports young people to build their independence and prepare for this transition.

Samantha* is a young person who recently transitioned into supported living. With the support of her Care Team, Samantha has reconnected with her family and started a new chapter in her life.

Samantha has only been in supported living for a short time, but has already taken some big steps forward. In her first week, Samantha had her first job interview for a retail position.

Leading up to the interview, she was feeling nervous but proud to have been offered an interview. Samantha’s Care Team helped her prepare, taking her shopping for clothes to wear to the interview and practising mock interview questions with her.

After her interview, Samantha reported back to her Care Team that it went really well, and she felt prepared and comfortable in the interview room.

Another positive change for Samantha was reconnecting with her brother. Samantha had not seen her brother in nine years, and she thought he wasn’t interested in a relationship with her. When she moved into SILS, Samantha found out that her brother had made many attempts to connect with her.

Samantha was very excited to see her brother again. She spent the night at his house and met his partner. The next day her brother took her home, and Samantha proudly introduced him to her Care Team.

“It was very special to witness the beginning of a beautiful relationship between siblings. Samantha now wants to learn how to cook so she can invite them both over for dinner,” said Ashleigh, House Manager.

Samantha has also been working on processing her grief over her father’s death. Her dad passed away in 2015, and Samantha has been unable to grieve his passing as she was left with many unanswered questions.

With the support of her Care Team, Samantha started the grieving and healing process. Her team sourced his death certificate, helping to answer some of her questions, and she was given the support to process this information. When Samantha is ready, her team is planning to organise a visit to his grave.

“Just one difficult event happening in our lives is enough to manage, and Samantha has faced so many challenges all at once," said Ashleigh.

"She is one resilient human who has such a big heart and a beautiful soul.”

Now that Samantha has settled into her new home, she is looking forward to the future. One event she is very excited about is her upcoming school formal. Previously Samantha wasn’t able to afford a formal dress, so she was thrilled to start the process of finding the perfect dress.

“It was the most beautiful experience watching Samantha stand on the platform and try on as many dresses as she liked. Samantha was smiling the entire time, and she felt so special,” said Ashleigh.

“Moving into supported living has already been so positive for Samantha. She is feeling valued, appreciated, and supported. She has started to build a lovely connection with her brother and his partner, and it is wonderful to see her looking forward to her future.”

A person's story is precious. We take storytelling seriously. Sometimes people are able to tell their own story, and we love that. We always make sure they give us their ok, and we will always honour the trust placed in us to bring their story forward.

*Names have been changed to protect the children in this story.

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