Youth Care offers the option of assisted living to youths who have been placed in Youth Care’s facilities for a prolonged period and cannot return home.
Youth Care’s assisted living facility offers a place for 9 to 12 youths from Bonaire, St. Eustatius, and Saba every year. These are youths who find themselves in one of Youth Care’s long-term social programmes, and who are ready to take the next step towards more independence. They cannot go back home because the circumstances, despite the best efforts of social services, remain unchanged in the home environment. It is often the case that problems have piled up in the home environment, meaning that these youths cannot count on the necessary support for the transition from being a youth to an adult.
The purpose of the assisted living programme is to enable youths to give direction to their own lives independently within two years. The counselling focusses on:
- Increasing self-reliance
- Learning social, relationship, and practical skills
Counselling ties in closely to Youth Care’s existing social services. Based on a personal plan of approach, youths in the assisted living programme go through three phases. Each phase has its own personal development objectives, and the counselling programme tailors itself towards them. Counselling in the first phase is very much focused on direction. Youths are encouraged to go to school and find a part-time job. In phase two, counselling shifts towards coaching. Youths are given a workshop on work ethic and are properly coached to develop a sense of responsibility and a good work ethic. In phase three, counselling focuses on offering advice. Youths go to work independently and receive advice on issues they face in the workplace.
Housing and progression
A two-year pilot was launched on the 15th of March, 2021. The assisted living facility is housed in an apartment building at Kaya Sabana on Bonaire. Along with housing cooperative Fundashon Cas Bonairiano (FCB), we are currently looking into the possibility of realising a new building where the assisted living project can be continued structurally. FCB is also looking into whether they can also make social housing available for youths who successfully complete the assisted living programme, so that the youths’ progression can be guaranteed.