This page was last updated 18 April 2019.

Supported independent living (SIL) is provided to a young person in residential premises (not a carer's or young person's own home) by paid or contracted workers with additional supports provided by volunteers where available, where the workers generally do not live in the house but provide external support through regular visiting.

Supported independent living involves individual or small group living and is most suited for young people aged 15-17 years with needs reflecting a CAT Score range between 1 and 3 inclusive who are transitioning to independent living.

There are three service components that may be provided as part of SIL services:

  1. Supported Independent Living
  2. Stabilisation 24/7
  3. Outreach Support.

  • Key objective

    To ensure children and young people who have been removed from the care of a person under the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 (SA) (the Act) are placed in a safe, nurturing, stable and secure environment.

    The broad goals of SIL programs are to:

    • maximise young people’s capacity to live independently in the community
    • prevent young people transitioning from out of home care to homelessness
    • improve social, economic and health and wellbeing outcomes for care leavers.
  • Client/target group

    The service provider will provide Supported Independent Living Services (SILS) to children and young people who are aged 15-17 who are under Guardianship or Custody of the Chief Executive or other order or authority, and who have access to/or be eligible for Centrelink benefit from the age 16.

    The client group may include children and young people between who display characteristics such as:

    • trauma related behaviours that are indicative of experiences of significant neglect, physical and sexual abuse, witnessed and/or has been subjected to family violence, and exposure to anti-social family cultures
    • high vulnerability to exploitation and abuse
    • vulnerability identified by a range of service systems that include mental health, criminal justice and/or education.
  • Service requirements

    The following sets out the program requirements for delivering SILS.

    Organisational

    For all components of the SILS to be provided, the service provider must:

    1. Hold a residential care service licence
    2. Comply with this service specification at all times
    3. Comply with DCP’s service provision requirements
    4. Have appropriate governance and management structures, appropriate policies, procedures, service models, staffing models, rostering arrangements, and programming required for the delivery of the service in line with this specification and service provision requirements.
    5. Articulate and implement a model of service consistent with the trauma-informed therapeutic framework, which is developed in consultation with a psychologist, and implement programs in ways which are consistent with the framework.

    Service Provider personnel

    For all components of the SILS to be provided, the service provider must:

    1. Ensure service provider personnel hold and maintain relevant working with children checks at all times. Refer to DCP’s Carer Approval/Personnel Checks, Qualifications and Training requirements.
    2. Provide ongoing supervision and guidance to service provider personnel in respect to their performance and work-related activities
    3. Report any suspicion that a child or young person may be at risk in accordance with the Act
    4. Provide training to personnel in accordance with DCP’s Carer Approval/Personnel Checks, Qualifications and Training requirements.
    5. Make relevant courses of training available to service provider personnel – to consolidate or improve knowledge, develop or build skills, promote wellbeing and to address identified issues as they arise
    6. Provide support to service provider personnel during and following critical incidents, care concerns and/or special investigations into allegations of abuse made against them
    7. Maintain a policy to provide access to an Employee Assistance Program for service provider personnel
    8. Implement performance and development plans for all service provider personnel
    9. Review performance and development plans for service provider personnel as part of an annual review process
    10. Maintain records of all training undertaken by service provider personnel
    11. Provide an opportunity for exited personnel to complete an exit interview.

    Placement

    For all components of the SIL service to be provided, the service provider must:

    1. Provide the minimum number of placements specified in the Service Agreement
    2. Only provide accommodation placements to young people over 15
    3. Not exceed the licenced facility’s approved number of placements without Chief Executive approval
    4. Regularly advise DCP of placement capacity and availability of placements
    5. Assist in case management tasks such as planning, referrals and liaising with relevant services
    6. Ensure personnel can effectively support the child or young person, and meet the child’s Case Plan
    7. Assess each young person at the start of each placement or transition, to ensure the young person’s needs are met in their Care Plan
    8. In consultation with the young person’s DCP Case Worker, ensure the Care Plan is reviewed every three months to reflect any changing needs, circumstances of the young person.
    9. Integrate SIL service delivery with other services provided within the organisation or other organisations
    10. Use the Transition Plan to help the care team identify necessary strategies and actions to assist each individual young person’s transition into adulthood. This plan will be developed in collaboration with the young person from 15 years of age, and will involve their family where applicable. The transition plan will include a focus on the following areas of need:
      • safe and sustainable accommodation
      • education or employment arrangements
      • sustainable income
      • access to health services (medical, dental and other specialist services as required)
      • information and referral to relevant post-care support services, health and community services, legal services, Centrelink, alternative housing options and culturally specific services such as Aboriginal organisations required for the young person including their contact details, timeframes and responsibilities
      • post-care financial support (TILA brokerage)
      • opportunities for young people who have left care to link with others in the same situation
    11. Work with young people during their time in placement to develop living skills that are appropriate to their age, developmental level and circumstance. The specific skills required may include:
      • Budgeting and managing money
      • Managing family and other relationships
      • Living with other people and conflict resolution
      • Cooking, cleaning and personal maintenance
      • Understanding their rights and responsibilities as an adult
    12. Respond to young people’s needs within a care environment
    13. Provide access to psychology services and health care
    14. Settle young people into school or employment and support young people to return back to school when excluded or suspended from school
    15. Assist young people to undertake daily living activities, access and participate in their community and strengthen their personal relationships
    16. Work with clients to access Centrelink rent assistance to help cover support in placement costs.
    17. Ensure the young person pays a percentage of their income in support of the placement (including utilities). This requirement will act as a learning tool to enable the young person to develop a sense of responsibility and increase their capacity to live independently.
    18. Record, sign-off and maintain relevant client information in records management tools such as a Daily Log or Services Diary and also record agreed client tasks and their completion.
    19. Work with DCP case manager and DCP Placement Services Unit to seek alternative arrangements where placements break down and/or where a child or young person is unable to be placed with the service provider
    20. Continue to support the young person as described in their Care Plan until they no longer require the support or up until the age of 18.

    Reporting

    For all components of the SILS to be provided, the service provider must:

    1. Provide a weekly progress report to the young person’s DCP Case Manager that outlines that week’s service provider contact with the young person, any significant events, behaviours, and relationships of the young person.
    2. Provide a monthly progress report to the Young person’s DCP Case Manager that outlines the young person’s future appointments and other relevant interventions as per the young person’s Case Plan
    3. Provide a quarterly report outlining all Care Concerns
    4. Report all school exclusions or suspensions to the DCP Case Manager.
  • Placement of children and young people in independent living

    The service provider must provide supported independent living placements within the designated properties leased by DCP or the service provider, unless otherwise negotiated by the Chief Executive.  Supported Independent Living is a long term program that is sustained for up to three years up until the young person is 18.

    Placement Intake

    The service provider must:

    1. Consider referrals for Young People aged 15 years and above.
    2. Support DCP to place sibling groups and other young people together (where appropriate)
    3. Accept and respond only to referrals from DCP Placement Service Unit during business hours, or DCP Crisis Response Unit outside of business hours
    4. Meet timeframes for accepting or declining referrals:
      1. Respond to initial referrals within 2 business days
      2. Accepted or decline referrals within 5 business days
      3. Commence long term care placements within 14 days of referral acceptance, or within the negotiated timeframe for an immediate placement (except where otherwise agreed to meet the arrangements agreed in the child or young person’s Transition Plan)
    5. Upon receiving a referral from DCP, complete an enquiry form and arrange a time/place to meet the young person. The meeting may take place at the service provider's administration centre/local office or elsewhere as arranged with the young person. The service provider is to make an assessment of the young person’s needs and inform them of their rights, responsibilities, expected outcomes within the service.
    6. Seek additional relevant case background information from the DCP Case Manager
    7. Assess each young person’s history, service expectation, long term goals and what they would like to achieve to work towards in the future, and assess each young person’s independent living skills, basic household management, budgeting, community services access is to be assessed to ascertain if the young person is ready to be placed in a SILS environment as follows:

    High

    Intensive support required in all areas working on the young person’s basic living skills. Two booked appointments per week, plus in home visits and phone calls as required.

    Medium

    Intensive support to increase the young person’s independence and refine their independent living skills. One to two booked appointments per week, plus phone calls per week.

    Low

    Intensive support moving the young person towards independence. Fortnightly booked appointments moving to monthly appointments, and house visits and phone calls when deemed appropriate.

    1. Prior to the Young person being accepted into the service, facilitate a Referral Meeting with the young person and their DCP Case Manager. This meeting is to hold the young person at the centre of the process, and the meeting marks the beginning of the client centred approach and covers:
      • Service commitments and requirements
      • The young person’s questions and/or concerns
      • Any support the young person may require or like
      • Provide prescribed information to the young person in relation to their placement (age appropriately)
      • The final decision by the young person to begin the service (entry into the service is voluntary by the young person)
    2. Upon the young person committing to the service, allocate two service provider personnel to the young person.

    Placement disruption

    The service provider must:

    1. Where there are indicators that a placement might be disrupted, work with DCP case managers to implement strategies to stabilise and secure the existing placement
    2. When Placement Services indicate that a placement change is required, maintain responsibility of the child or young person until an alternative placement is found
    3. Where a placement change occurs
      1. work cooperatively with the child’s case manager, the child, their family and all other parties concerned, in order to ensure a smooth transition for the child
      2. work to ensure the change occurs in a way that is sensitive to the needs of the child, ensuring they are involved in the process wherever possible
      3. service provider personnel from both placements concerned will ensure all of the child’s personal belongings and other materials are safely transferred to the subsequent placement
      4. service provider personnel will ensure all relevant information concerning the child is passed on to personnel, carers and case managers at the new placement
    4. Where the placement is terminated provide Outreach support to the young person as agreed by the DCP Case Manager.