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Program to help young people find right path

Posted: 9am 21 Dec 2021

Referrals are open now for Intercept Youth and Family Support Program’s Pathfinder Program, which helps disengaged young people overcome obstacles, achieve their goals and start participating in the community.

Team Leader education, training and development Lewis Kwarcianyi says it is one of the newest programs offered by the organisation, which is based at Caboolture but assists people across the Moreton Bay Region.

Lewis says the Pathfinder Program is free and supports young people aged 15-25 years and has been funded by Hand Heart Pocket which is the charity of Freemasons Queensland for the next two years.

Twelve are involved in the program each term, receiving individually tailored support from a project officer for the term and attending a two-night camp at the end.

“A lot of that is around practical life skills. It could be stabilising their accommodation, looking for training and employment opportunities and a lot of it is around social connections and self-esteem and building their self-confidence,” Lewis says.

“That builds towards a camp experience – a trauma-informed, adventure-based camp. That runs on the school holidays.”

Lewis says some young people may not have been part of a mainstream camp experience before due to disadvantage, disability or behaviour.

“We see camps as a really important rite of passage for young people because when they’re there, they get to do the flying fox, team building activities, high-ropes courses all those amazing experiences.

“It’s a staged, scaffolded approach – they get their 10 weeks of one-on-one support, then they attend a day program at Luther Heights in the first week of the school holidays and then they attend a two-night camp in the second week of the school holidays.

“It’s very supportive and we’re able to help them overcome any barriers or concerns so we’re maximising the chances of them having a successful camp experience. Post-camp, the young people are offered monthly catch-ups to maintain positive social connections formed and ensure the young people keep moving towards achieving their goals.

“The goals are they learn team-building skills, a lot of it is about just making friends, meeting new people, learning social skills, overcoming challenges, conquering fears and anxieties and learning how to get along with others.”

Tailored support

Lewis says goals differ for each participant.

“Generally, it’s about supporting them to become more independent young adults so they can then contribute to society, they can hopefully participate fully in community life,” he says.

“It’s about helping them have a bright future by empowering them through life skills and helping them achieve their goals.”

Lewis is actively seeking referrals throughout December and January for Term 1 of the Pathfinder Program.

Intercept Youth and Family Support Programs offers a range of services for young people and families throughout the Moreton Bay Region.

“There’s upwards of 10 different programs that we operate out of this site at Caboolture,” Lewis says.

To find out more, visit the website or phone 5428 1684.

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