Young Adults

Ethan and Jeff in Coles PictureUnitingCare Community understands that young adults aged 12 to 18 experience an important time in their lives. Therefore we will work in partnership with you and your family in navigating your path to growing up, learning, seeking work and growing independence.

UnitingCare offers the following services for young adults (12-18 years old) and their families:

Preparing and planning for the future

Being part of the community

Having a job

A place to call home

Making friends

Having fun

The whole family

  • Preparing and planning for the future

We all want to live the best life we can. What that life looks like is different for everybody, and it can be a challenge to define exactly what shape you want the future to take. Our planning process helps simplify the task of identifying and understanding your long-term hopes and aspirations, and we work one-on-one with people to explore and determine their ideal future, and how to plan for it.

UnitingCare Community understands that life is changeable, so our process is flexible. For example, for a young child, their aspirations may change quickly as the child grows and develops, and for young adults and adults, building confidence in what is possible today as well as tomorrow is equally important.

There are a number of tools we use to help create your personal plan, including role-based planning, Making Action Plans (MAP), Planning Alternative Tomorrow’s with Hope (PATH) and Optimal Individual Service Design (OISD). As part of these programs, our role is to undertake ‘life tasting’ experiences so you can truly understand what is possible.

To assist with implementing your resulting personal plan, we identify the people, communities and resources required to help you achieve your desired future, including both paid and unpaid solutions. 

  • Being part of the community

Being part of the community in which you live can be enriching and rewarding. Actively engaging with the community helps build esteem, social connections and general wellbeing. We help people to find pathways towards inclusion in the mainstream community, and we help to find ways in which they can actively contribute. When appropriate, we can champion your participation and guide you through the process of connecting with community activities and initiatives.

Some of the approaches to inclusion we take include:

  • Circles of Support
  • Self help or user controlled groups
  • Identifying or creating Facebook pages that connect with and support community-led initiativesSarah and Sheree in Gym Picture
  • Building and maintaining roles and relationships within the community
  • Supporting active memberships of people with disabilities in local organisations of interest 
  • Attending school and learning

Schooling is important for every child, and not just for the academic skills that they learn. The school environment can also encourage the development of social skills, friendships, positive self-opinions and goal setting skills. UnitingCare Community helps children with disability and their parents to navigate the schooling experience, and we can assist you with understanding your school’s expectations, policies and practices, and how your child best fits into that framework. We can also assist you with the knowledge required to ensure your child is learning to the best of their ability.

  • Having a job

Working and having a job has numerous benefits, including the possibility of an income and an improved sense of personal worth. When you identify having a job as one of your goals, we can provide services to facilitate and support you to prepare, seek, attain and maintain employment.

Whether your goals are to build a career or even start a micro business, we work closely with you to design independent pathways and to help you learn about workplace behaviours and expectations. Our solutions are many and varied, and may even include volunteering, which helps you learn and gain experience before entering paid employment. UnitingCare Community also works with the business community to develop a range of opportunities to employ or mentor individuals who are seeking to achieve their goals.

  • A place to call home

A person’s home can take many forms, be that the family home, a sole or shared residence, or an assigned property. Either way, UnitingCare Community believes that everyone deserves to have a place that they can call home. We offer a range of support and planning services designed to promote better living, and we can assist you with creating the kind of place that you want and deserve to live in.  

  • Making friends

Having friends in our lives is widely understood to be hugely beneficial. Friendships are thought to have a positive impact on people’s levels of happiness, their sense of self and direction, and their ability and willingness to set and reach goals. Friendships teach respect for others and provide an understanding of cultural, sexual and religious diversity. UnitingCare Community fosters the development of friendships by gently introducing people with disability to groups such as sports teams and hobby groups. 

  • Having fun

Life is full of opportunities and experiences to enjoy. Joining activity groups can be fun, it can promote community participation, and it can help to build friendships based on common interests.

However, the biggest challenge can be how to find the activities and interests most suitable to you. 

UnitingCare Community offers a broad variety of activities that cater to a wide range of ages and interests. These activities let people ‘taste’ an experience and, if they are found to be enjoyable by the individual, we work with them to ensure the experience can be enjoyed again. If you’re not sure what your interests might be, we’ll help you identify what might be most suitable. There are so many fun activities to choose from, such as playing a musical instrument, singing, painting, or riding bicycles – the list goes on and on.  

UnitingCare Community offers community based breaks, school holiday programs, a travel agency and a tour operator. These services are provided on a fee for service basis, apart from community based breaks and school holiday programs that may attract some government subsidies.  

Especially for children aged 12-18 years, UnitingCare Community runs a Holiday Program (Vacation Care), a community based program with a range of indoor and outdoor activities including: excursions, cooking, sports, craft, creative play, sensory play, outdoor play and themed days. The Holiday Program is funded by Department of Social Services. Find out more on  https://uccommunity.org.au/vacation-care

  • The whole family

Families are one of the most important social units of society. Families are our support system, and the lives of family members are deeply intertwined. In families where a family member has a disability, this interest and engagement in each other’s lives is even more pronounced.

UnitingCare Community helps people navigate the dynamics of family life when a member has a disability, by providing a mix of one-off and long term family support and early intervention services.

This may include assistance with issues such as relationships, sibling support, finances, parenting, financial planning and estate management.

 

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