Hugh’s successful journey with the Youth Advocate Program (YAP) is thanks to the imaginative approach taken by his advocate during and after his transition back to his natural family at age 18.
Our Youth Advocate Program supports young people in out-of-home-care as they transition. This can be transitioning out of home, back to home or to a new placement. Each young person is supported by an advocate and their support is based on the needs and aspirations of each young person. Advocates work intensively with individual young people and their families for up to 6 months, focused on rebuilding relationships and helping them to develop skills to participate in community life. For Hugh* the support of his advocate made all the difference when he transitioned home to his natural family after living in out-of-home-care for a number of years.
It wasn’t a simple journey. There were seven people and 11 pets living in his grandmother’s three-bedroom house, which was extremely chaotic and challenging for a teenager on the Autism Spectrum. With YAP’s support, Hugh’s aunty, her partner and their three children were able to find their own home, leaving a much calmer environment for Hugh and his grandmother.
His advocate also supported his natural mother to increase her role in his life by learning more about Hugh’s diagnosis. With YAP’s support Hugh has now graduated his HSC and received a Cert III in retail studies.
As you can see, YAP's support is practical. They help young people to get a driver’s licence, find suitable living arrangements, secure employment, explore education options, learn how to budget, develop knowledge and confidence to join a community group or re-connect with the culture.
*Name and image changed for privacy reasons
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