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This page was last updated 3 June 2021.

The below service specifications relate to Supported independent living services (SILS) procured under P104 executed after 3 June 2021.

All young people in care need to develop independent living skills. SILS provide young people in care with accommodation and individualised support, based on their assessed needs to enhance development of independent living skills in preparation for leaving care and successfully transitioning to adult life.

SILS forms part of DCP’s out of home care (OOHC) services for young people (16-17 years inclusive) and is an important part of the transition from care offering to young people.

The broad objectives of SILS are:

  • maximising young people’s capacity to live independently in the community
  • transitioning young people from care into stable accommodation; and
  • improving social, economic, health and wellbeing outcomes for care leavers.

The aim of SILS are to provide accommodation, deliver programmatic responses to skills development and individually tailored support to assist young people to transition to adulthood. This includes:

  • responding to the diversity of young people’s needs;
  • tailoring support to young people’s developmental needs, capabilities, and strengths with the ability to step-up and step-down support;
  • providing consistency of workers and continuity of care over time;
  • delivering intensive support to stabilise young people, if required, or targeted to key times of the day such as meal preparation, school or training attendance;
  • having well-developed service networks to facilitate the provision of a broad range of services, programs and networks for young people;
  • being culturally responsive and incorporating culturally safe approaches as part of the therapeutic foundation;
  • supporting young people’s connections to family; and
  • assisting young people to develop practical life skills such as self-care, home management, budgeting and financial literacy and confidence for independent living.

SILS will be located across regional and metropolitan areas and young people must be able to access services irrespective of their current placement location.

SILS will provide young people with access to 24/7 support however, the nature and intensity of support will be dependent on individual young people’s independent living skills, support needs and developmental capacity as determined by DCP case management.

The service provider will provide SILS to children and young people who are aged 16 – 17 years inclusive. The target group for SILS is diverse and includes:

  1. Young people who are Aboriginal.
  2. Young people assessed by DCP to be of low complexity, able to live independently with reduced supervision and support.
  3. Young people assessed by DCP to be of high complexity, lacking in independent living skills and may:
    1. exhibit behaviours which create a risk of significant harm, whether to themselves or others, through violence, offending, self-harm or serious substance misuse, and/or
    2. require considerable across service coordination and collaboration to meet their complex needs, and/or
    3. are unable to have their needs effectively met by the current service and/or system
  4. Young people with a developmental delay or disability.
  5. Young women who are pregnant or have a child.

Young people require flexible services that are person centred, consistent and provide them with adaptive life skills to successfully transition to adulthood.

Target group characteristics, needs and service approach

Young people with a disability aged 16-17

Characteristics and/or needs

Service approach

The majority of young people in SILS with a disability will have autism and/or an intellectual disability. Autism may affect them in the following areas:

  • Social   interaction - poor social skills and difficulty understanding unwritten   social rules, often lack understanding of acceptable social behaviour
  • Social   communication difficulties with verbal and non-verbal communication, understanding   feelings of others, understanding that others may have different thoughts and   feelings to their own, difficulties in turn taking and reciprocal   conversations
  • Restrictive and   repetitive behaviours/interests in which individuals prefer predictable and   consistent environments with expected events and routines. Difficulties with   changes in routines and unfamiliar environments/people, which can cause high   levels of anxiety
  • Sensory   processing difficulties - often have marked differences in their sensory   processing and can be over-responsive, under-responsive or have difficulty in   processing sensory information

An intellectual disability may affect a young person in the following areas:

  • Cognitive capacity – this influences the person’s   understanding of information, and they may take longer   to learn things
  • They may have difficulty reading and writing
  • They may have difficulty with communication - understanding and   expressing ideas
  • They will have difficulty understanding abstract concepts
  • It may affect the person’s ability to plan ahead and to problem solve
  • They may have difficulty accurately remembering information
  • They may struggle to adapt to new or unfamiliar situations and have   poor impulse control
  • Positive social interactions – frequent opportunities for positive social interaction; social skills will need to role modelled and use of explicit teaching implemented
  • Support for communication – support for communication is provided across all areas of the person’s life and in ways that the person understands and engages with i.e. visual cues, signing, etc
  • Support for participation in meaningful activities – person centred is provided for the person to engage in activities of interest and learning in ways that enable and empower them
  • Consistent and predictable environments – approach is consistent regardless of who is providing the support
  • Support to establish and/or maintain relationships with family and friends – opportunities for developing friendships/relationships is provided
  • Provision of opportunities for choice – regular and genuine opportunities for making decisions about aspects of daily life are provided through the day and across different settings
  • Encouragement of more independent functioning – providing support around the development of new skills and independent functioning. Instructions, tasks and information presented in direct and explicit verbal terms, using a systematic teaching approach. Repetition of information for retention and repetition of opportunities to practice new skills
  • Living environment – environment meets the needs of the young person taking into consideration their unique sensory, developmental, disability needs
  • See young people with complex needs

Target group characteristics, needs and service approach

Aboriginal young people aged 16 - 17

Characteristics and/or needs

Service approach

Aboriginal young people are over-represented in all areas of the child protection system, including the SILS population. They have a range of complex cultural and social needs that may include the following:

  • Aboriginal   young people are frequently disconnected from extended family, from their   culture and community and country
  • Aboriginal   young people experience profound grief and loss because of intergenerational   trauma, compounding their own adverse childhood experiences
  • Aboriginal   young people are more likely to experience depression, anxiety and suicidal   behaviour, requiring an intensive level of support to address mental health   concerns
  • Aboriginal   young people may have cultural and familial responsibilities on leaving care   that need to be acknowledged and understood
  • Aboriginal   young people may find it difficult to engage with services due to a lack of   trust stemming from historic practices and programs that were discriminatory   and racist
  • Social and emotional wellbeing – support the social, emotional, spiritual   wellbeing of Aboriginal young people
  • Maintaining Aboriginal young people’s connection to country, to culture, spirituality, extended   family and community
  • Provide culturally safe and responsive services for Aboriginal young people that support young   people to build strong sense of identity and connections to extended family,   to culture, to community and to country
  • Deliver culturally appropriate case planning, including use of the Aboriginal Cultural Identity   Support Tool (ACIST) in collaboration with DCP
  • Involve family and extended family and   community members in   the day-to-day lives of young people in SILS accommodation
  • See young people with complex needs

Target group characteristics, needs and service approach

Young people with high complexity aged 16-17

Characteristics and/or needs

Service approach

Young people with complex needs often have developmental delays and trauma related behaviours and:

  • Are exhibiting   behaviours which create a risk of significant harm, whether to themselves or   others, through violence, offending, self-harm, running away from placement   and serious substance misuse
  • Require   considerable across service coordination and collaboration to meet their   complex needs, including complex mental and physical health needs
  • Are unable to   have their needs effectively met by the current services and system
  • Have   experienced a disrupted education, are disengaged from education and training   and have limited readiness for accessing employment opportunities
  • Have lost   connection with extended family and friends
  • Have limited   positive peer relationships
  • Often have a   developmental delay and other trauma related behaviours
  • Experience high   levels of substance misuse
  • Are often   engaged in the youth justice system, having experienced periods of   incarceration, leading to increased social isolation, disjointed experiences   of education and disconnection from positive community connections
  • They often have   negative and dangerous community connections
  • They may have a   range of orders and obligation to comply with that they find challenging   (curfews, exclusions, community service orders)
  • They are at   high risk for engagement in the adult criminal justice system
  • Have emerging   mental health needs

  • Proactively responds to the challenges young people with experience including challenges in regulating emotions and managing behaviours. Assisting young people with community reintegration and engagement with services.
  • Persistence - acknowledge challenges as learning opportunities and continue to build young people’s confidence and capability
  • Safety – minimise the risk of harm to young people, staff and visitors, and create an environment that is safe whilst modelling trust and respect. Helping young people to manage their relationships outside the placement and liaising with DCP and SAPOL as necessary regarding written directives and other mechanisms to keep young people safe from harm
  • Assist young people to comply with any youth justice orders, attendance at community service, payment of fines and compliance with curfews
  • Link young people with services to specifically address mental health concerns and complex physical health needs
  • Trauma informed - evidence-based practice that acknowledges the impact of trauma and work with young people to build their confidence and wellbeing
  • Innovative skills development and employment readiness programming
  • Assertively work on school/program inclusion with young people and their education providers
  • Assist to build young people’s life skills and capabilities across life domains- social, cognitive, emotional and behavioural
  • Strengthen extended family and community connections that provide them with guidance and support

Target group characteristics, needs and service approach

Young people with low complexity aged 16 -17

Characteristics and/or needs

Service approach

  • Young   people with low complexity, are assessed to be:
  • Able   to live independently with reduced supervision and support
  • Confident   about tasks of daily living
  • Participating   in education/training
  • More   likely to have the skills required to gain employment
  • Able   to engage confidently in the broader community and develop and maintain   positive connections

·

  • Engage young people and use strengths based approach to building young people’s   skills, confidence and social and emotional wellbeing
  • Prepare and support young people to acquire independent living skills through the   provision of accommodation, support and structured and individualised life   skills programs
  • Delivery of innovative skills development and employment readiness programming
  • Assist to build young people’s life skills and   capabilities across life domains- social, cognitive, emotional and   behavioural
  • Strengthened extended family and   community connections that provide them with guidance and support

Target group characteristics, needs and service approach

Young parents and pregnant young people aged 16-17

Characteristics and/or needs

Service approach

  • Pregnant young   women in care are likely to have a range of complexities that impact on their   health and wellbeing and on their unborn child:
  • They are at   greater risk of having their own child removed than other young mothers
  • They are   exposed to increased incidence of domestic and family violence
  • They are more   likely to experience depression, including postnatal depression
  • They experience   a higher incidence of maternal and neonatal adverse outcomes than other young   pregnant women, such as low birth weight, smoking during pregnancy and lower   incidence of breastfeeding commencement and continuation
  • They report   experiencing judgement and stigma as a result of their early parenting and   care experience
  • They have   frequently missed out on positive parental role modelling
  • They are less   likely to seek help if they are struggling due to a fear of child protection   involvement with their children
  • Engage young people and use a strengths based approach to building young people’s   skills, confidence and social and emotional wellbeing
  • Delivery of   programs and supports required for the   health and wellbeing of pregnant young women
  • Provide   education and support to develop parenting skills
  • Supply   accommodation that meets women who are pregnant or have a child
  • Provide parenting programs to support young women to meet the care,   development and health needs of their unborn child/child
  • Support the   mother and child to attend appropriate   medical appointments and other services as per their case plan
  • Prepare and support young people to acquire independent living skills through the   provision of accommodation, support and structured and individualised life   skills programs
  • Assist to build   young people’s life skills and   capabilities across life domains- social, cognitive, emotional and   behavioural Strengthened extended family and   community connections that provide them with guidance and support
  • See young people with complex needs

DCP can refer young people into SILS from the age of 16 years. Referrals should occur before the young person’s 17th birthday. SILS Service Providers will be required to:

  • work with DCP SILS Coordinator and case workers to establish placements, including those that cater for multiple young people
  • inform the DCP SILS Coordinator of upcoming vacancies in a timely fashion to facilitate consultation regarding potential placement matching and allocation
  • demonstrate knowledge of best practice and service delivery capability in engaging and working with young people using a strengths-based approach that is trauma informed and responsive
  • develop an articulated service delivery approach, which must be communicated to DCP.

The service delivery approach must include at a minimum:

  1. Affordable accommodation in the right location that is delivered in a way that:
    • minimises the disruption young people experience by supporting continuity of key connections (education/training and employment, community activities, family and extended family connections);
    • provides a comfortable and liveable environment for young people, including all the essential furnishings and equipment required to establish a functional home;
    • assists young people to maintain tenancy on exiting care by providing access to sustainable, shared accommodation sourced from the private rental market. When young people transition from SILS into a maintained tenancy, it will be the responsibility of the service provider to source new accommodation to meet ongoing placement needs;
    • actively plans for young people to establish their own tenancy where maintaining tenancy is not possible. To promote long-term sustainability, the preference is for shared accommodation with support provided to young people to assist them in securing a housemate/housemates post care to share the accommodation;
    • offers a range of accommodation options that cater for two young people per placement; for example, shared tenancy under a lead tenant model or core/cluster accommodation offering intensive support in a central placement with satellite properties on or off site;
    • offers tailored step-up and step-down support that is designed to meet the individual needs of young people placed in the service in line with daily rates and nominal hours per week in schedule 4 of the panel deed; and
    • is set up in accordance with DCP’s Residential Setup Specification.
  2. Individual, flexible support based on young people’s assessed need that:
    • supports young people’s access to services they need including disability and health services (therapeutic, specialist allied health and dental services);
    • provides active support with a commitment to continuity of care within the service and in supporting the young person’s enduring relationships with other service providers;
    • supports young people’s participation in education, access to training and building the knowledge and skills that lead to job readiness; and
    • provides support to the household until the youngest member turns 18. When one young person in a shared tenancy turns 18 and the arrangement is assessed as safe and sustainable, DCP may approve for the older resident to remain at the property as a housemate. The service provider will support the order young person to obtain a Working with children check (WWCC) prior to their 18th birthday to facilitate this arrangement.
  3. Development of young people’s skills, knowledge and capability to live independently by:
    • assisting young people to develop a household budget, including budgeting for setting up their accommodation and supporting them in their purchase of household items to create a safe and liveable home in accordance with DCP’s Residential Setup Specification;
    • engaging and working with young people using evidence based programs and interventions;
    • using agreed assessment tools to assess and monitor young people’s practical skills acquisition, attainment of goals and readiness for independent living post care;
    • being responsive to young people’s assessed developmental needs and abilities;
    • tailoring support and skills development for young people using a goal orientated approach;
    • providing young people with ongoing independent living skills development opportunities including self-care, home management, financial literacy and budgeting;
    • seeking young people’s feedback on how they are coping with key tasks such as using public transport, paying bills, cooking and self-care;
    • providing young people with job seeking skills;
    • connecting young people to service and information related to sexual health and healthy relationships, including online relationships;
    • providing education and support to develop parenting skills in young people where appropriate, and
    • supporting young people to participate in transition planning that facilitates in maintenance of existing positive relationships.

1. Service requirements for all young people

For all young people in SILS the service provider must:

  • work collaboratively with DCP to match young people into SILS placements based on the young person’s assessed needs, capabilities and strengths
  • provide young people with access to 24-hour support, 7 days a week through a staff office number during business hours and after hours through a dedicated on-call phone number. There must always be a worker on call to respond to a young person physically during an emergency. Should a worker be required to attend, this will be drawn from the “irregular hours” component of staffing
  • participate in DCP led transition planning in line with the DCP Transition Planning Principles
  • be actively involved in the transition of young people into SILS placements and provide DCP Placement Services Unit with a plan for that involvement
  • provide prescribed information to the young person in relation to their placement prior to placement
  • engage and participate in case management discussions
  • support young people to attend appointments and assessments
  • support young people to obtain their driver’s licence if appropriate
  • provide DCP with regular and agreed information about young people’s life skills development, participation in education or vocational learning and the development of skills required to gain employment
  • engage young people in the completion of the Young Person’s Participation Plan. A copy of this plan must be provided to the DCP SILS Coordinator using the agreed template which incorporates the following elements:
    • the young person’s view of their needs, strengths, aspirations and skill development needs
    • how the service will work with the young person to achieve their goals (articulated in the case plan and based on assessed needs)
    • the rights and responsibilities of the young person and the Service Provider and their staff
    • how the young person will be involved in decision-making and case planning
    • how the young person will contribute to their living expenses while residing in SILS (young people in receipt of Centrelink income support are expected to contribute 25% of their income towards their living expenses. Young people in employment will contribute no more than 25% of their income towards living expenses. Payment of this contribution is to be made directly by the young person to the service provider via a nominated account)
  • enable young people to personalise the space in which they are living
  • develop relationships with other service providers that interact with young people in SILS.

2. Care of young people with high complexity

For children and young people assessed as high complexity, the Service Provider must:

  • supply accommodation that meets the needs of the young people
  • provide therapeutic care that is trauma and developmentally informed and responsive to DCP assessments of need
  • provide services that respond to the individual needs and characteristics of young people
  • have the capability to provide support and care 24 hours a day, every day of the year, including when young people are not attending school and during school holidays and at other times
  • provide environments that promote the safety and wellbeing of young people and provide a predictable, homelike, culturally safe and responsive environment where staff have positive and strong relationships with young people to support stabilisation, recovery and development
  • provide the least restrictive environment, which is physically designed to minimise the risk of self-harming and violence.

3. Care of Young People with disabilities

For children and young people with a Disability, the Service Provider must:

  • provide evidence of National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Provider Registration against the Practice Standards core modules and the following supplementary modules:
    • high intensity daily personal activities
    • specialist behaviour support, including implementing behaviour support plans, and
    • early childhood supports
  • show evidence of NDIS provider registration to provide:
    • high intensity daily personal activities
    • assistance in coordinating or managing life stages, transitions and supports
    • assistance with daily personal activities
    • specialist positive behaviour support (including implementing positive behaviour support plans)
    • assistance with daily life tasks in a group or shared living arrangement
    • development of daily care and life skills
  • supply accommodation that meets the additional needs of the young person in consultation with DCP case management and in accordance with the NDIS Plan (if one is in place)
  • deliver services in line with the baseline assessment of needs, strengths, interests and capabilities of the young person
  • deliver a person centred approach to care with the aim of empowering and enabling the young person in their individual development
  • provide training to staff based on best practice in providing care and support services to young people with a range of disabilities
  • provide the least restrictive environment, which is physically designed to minimise the risk of self-harming and violence.

4. Care of young women who are pregnant and/or have a child

(This may include young men with a child, or young couples with a child).

In addition to the service requirements for all young people, the Service Provider will:

  • provide accommodation that is suitable for young women who are pregnant or have a child including all the furnishings and equipment necessary to provide safe care for an infant or young child
  • provide parenting programs to support young women to meet the care, development and health needs of their child/unborn child
  • provide intensive support to young women who are at risk of removal of their child
  • support the mother and child to attend appropriate medical appointments and other services as per their case plan

Safeguarding

Where a facility is not required to be licensed, the Service Provider must:

allow DCP to undertake unannounced visits to review the safety and wellbeing of young people in placement and audit the property.

Contract Transition In

The Service Provider must submit a plan for the transition in to the services which should include timeframes for implementation. The Service Provider must ensure requirements are addressed prior to the commencement of the contract including, but not limited to:

  • ensuring that adequate resources are available to deliver the service.
  • ensuring that adequate commercial systems are in place to deliver the service
  • workforce plan (recruitment strategy)
  • communication Plan
  • transition from existing Service Provider at commencement of new contract
  • a key contact person to support the Service Provider to understand DCP requirements and processes.

Client Transition In

At the beginning of the SILS placement, the Service Provider will be required to:

  • support DCP to match young people to placements in a timely manner, based on the young person’s assessed needs, capabilities and strengths
  • follow and participate in DCP transition processes and be referred through DCP Placement Services Unit
  • accept and respond to referrals from DCP Placement Service Unit
  • ensure the provision of SILS services to meet the needs for placements
  • consider the views of young people in decision-making processes
  • provide prescribed information to the young person in relation to their placement, including general information about the other young people they will be living with
  • ensure the staff team is able to effectively support the young person and meet the young person’s case plan, taking into account their individual needs
  • work with the DCP case manager and DCP Placement Services Unit to seek alternative care arrangements where placements break down and/or where a young person is unable to be placed with the Service Provider
  • regularly advise DCP of placement capacity and availability for the approved number of placements.

Contract Transition Out

The Service Provider must ensure requirements are addressed at the end of the contract including:

  • a description of the transition process to a new Service Provider (if relevant) at the end of the contract
  • the development and submission of detailed disengagement plans and the trigger for this activity
  • the finalisation of reports
  • handover of documents and data/intellectual property
  • the return of loaned items or unused materials
  • the return by the Service Provider of any electronic/hard copies of contract documentation, or documentation relevant to the provision of the contract
  • the return of any premises, infrastructure in equivalent condition to when it was handed over, and
  • confirmation of relevant and approved archiving or document destruction practices.

Client Transition Out

At the end of the SILS placement, the Service Provider must address the following transition out requirements:

  • provide assistance in the development of a detailed transition plan for young people in placements at the end of or change in the placement
  • work cooperatively with the DCP case manager, the young person, their family and all other parties concerned, in order to ensure a smooth transition for the young person
  • ensure the placement end/change occurs in a way that is sensitive to the needs of the young person, ensuring they are involved in the process wherever possible. Where a placement change occurs, Service Provider personnel will ensure all relevant information concerning the young person is communicated to staff and case managers at the new placement
  • prior to the termination of a placement, consultation must take place with DCP Placement Services Unit and other stakeholders to ensure appropriate transition and continuity of care
  • ensure all of the young person’s personal belongings and other materials are safely transferred to the subsequent placement/accommodation.