Nick Keith and Chris Gray1
1Churches of Christ Care, Children, Youth and Families, Townsville, Queensland, Australia.
Supporting multiple young people with challenging behavioural needs is a complex task, which may lead to responsescare. In an effort to promote the developmental and living skills of a group of young people at Churches of Christ Care; Children, Youth and Families (CYF) – Townsville’s residential, ‘iPlan4Change’ was introduced.
The residential staff collaborated to better meet the needs of their residents. The transition to independence was highlighted by the team as a critical area of need for young people leaving residential care. To address this need iPlan4Change connected earn or learn opportunities for young people in the program, coinciding with psycho education from our trauma informed practice framework, Sanctuary.
iPlan4Change encourages young people towards developing healthy habits and positive goal setting through contextualising the ‘real world’ as part of the program. Progression through iPlan4Change stages subsequently increases the resident’s privileges and responsibilities as they achieve their individual goals.
To measure the efficacy of the program, questionnaires were provided to both young people and staff at the residential. The young people were asked to evaluate their interest in education, life skills and engagement with staff pre and post implementation of the iPlan4Change. Staff were queried on the residential environment prior to implementation of the iPlan4Change and asked to identify areas of change following the implementation of iPlan4Change.
Responses from both staff and residents identified improved relationships following the rollout of iPlan4Change with a need for further training for staff.
Chris began foster caring for young people in New South Wales at age 21 before assisting those in need with family therapy and support in schools.Chris began case management in New South Wales for Life Without Barriers before moving to Townsville in sunny Queensland to work for Churches of Christ Care. Chris has experience working as a foster care case worker, residential case manager and is currently a residential team leader.