The Homestead Transitional Program (The Launch Pad) provides a therapeutic milieu and structured intervention for extreme traumatised youth, aged 15 to 21 years, through which their complex needs and challenges can be addressed, while empowering them and improving their quality of life.
The admission criteria for youth to stay at the Transitional program are as follow: Youth must be enrolled and attend an educational program daily, be drug-free and over 15 years of age. Youth have to apply themselves to be admitted to the centre. Youth have various forms they have to complete and submit (i.e. own motivation letter, form from the school, drug test forms, character references). Once the forms have been submitted they are invited for an interview at the centre. Once a youth gets accepted to the centre they have a sense of accomplishment and are very proud of themselves. They also feel they are taking control over their own life and making positive steps towards their own futures.
- To provide each youth with a safe environment and the opportunity of a bright future that is abuse, drug and crime free through a structured daily plan. The centre has a credit system in place that rewards positive behaviour and penalises negative behaviours to assist youth to daily be aware of how their learned negative behaviours can impact their future, i.e. drug use, anger, crime etc;
- To build trusting relationships with each youth to develop their individual potential;To assist the youth to work through their issues and become more self-aware through a structured intervention plan. Youth are allocated a key childcare worker who develops an IDP with the youth and the assistance of the social worker and rest of the team at the centre. Youth also has their own ‘credit plan’ where their own developmental areas are being identified and where they are being rewarded with credits for overcoming or addressing their own developmental areas;
- To offer psycho-social support to youth in order to address their trauma, attachment issues, anger management, inappropriate sexual behaviour, drug abuse, etc. A social worker at the centre provides individual counselling and group work. The Mankind project has forth nightly group sessions where masculinity is being addressed. Youth are referred to psychologist or psychiatrist if such a need has been identified;
- To empower youth with more effective strategies and life skills. Youth are being prepared for leaving the CYCC and a lot of emphasis is put on being responsible and accountable for your own actions and choices;
- To encourage the youth to achieve their personal goals, including education, recreation and positive relationships;
- To teach youth basic life skills for daily functioning (chores, cooking, laundry, financial management, taking care of personal belongings, maintaining appropriate peer and staff relationships, attend school daily, complete school assignments);
- To improve relationships between the youths and their families / guardians. Regular home visits are being done by staff and youth are encouraged to visit their families (if safe and appropriate) over weekends to start preparing for returning to the care of their families;
- To build self-esteem by developing the youth’s talents and abilities. The program has the following sport and recreation programs: sailing, horse riding, drama, hip-hop dancing, swimming, hiking, body building, soccer and music lessons. Some programs take place at the centre and for other programs youth are enrolled in programs in the community;
- To guide youth in discovering who they are, developing their identities and planning their futures. Youth has Educational assessments done by educational psychologists to advice on possible career choices, youth are taken to open-days at colleges and universities and youth are assisted to get weekend and holiday jobs through a job readiness program.