The Aftercare Program is a “follow-up” program which recognizes that young people need ongoing supportive relationships as they move towards independence. In order to live successfully on one’s own is not a result of independence but as a result of interdependent relationships. This term represents the ability to meet one’s physical, cultural, social, emotional, economic, and spiritual needs within the context of relationships with family, friends, employers and community. Thus, through our work with the youth involved in the aftercare program, we will be continuously promoting this view of interdependence and helping the youth develop a system of supports. The Aftercare Program strives to create relationships with young people so that they feel and know that they have support, encouragement and guidance on their journey to adulthood. These relationships are maintained through regular contact in person, by telephone, by mail and through holiday celebrations and annual events. The Youth Support Workers will be in a case management role and will provide emotional support, encouragement and referrals so that youth continue making progress towards their educational, employment and other goals.
Youth workers also provide support with housing assistance, informal counselling, college/university enrolment, independent living skill development, career planning, court appearances, substance abuse and job searching. Additionally, maintaining relationships lets them know we are here for them if a crisis arises in the future. Our work with the youth will be based on doing things with the youth rather than doing things for them. The youth will take the lead in defining the issues. The workers will provide face-to-face contact that will have a much greater impact on success.