Open Minds youth program, Transition to Post Care Support Initiative (TPSCI) has been given a new and improved name, YOUTH BLOOM Transition Services, to better describe the program objectives and be more meaningful and relatable to young people and industry partners.
YOUTH BLOOM Transition Services is a support program specifically for young people aged between 15 and 21 who live at the Gold Coast or in Logan and have been in foster care.
The program is led by Open Minds Transition Officers, Jasna Josipovic based at the Gold Coast and Larry Tapusoa based in Logan.
Jasna, who has delivered the youth program since its launch almost six years ago, said “We wanted the new name to reflect how we see young people blossoming everyday. The new name is far more inviting. And I’m very passionate about working with youth to achieve goals and help them flourish in life and the new name sums that up nicely.”
YOUTH BLOOM Transition Services is designed to help young people:
- identify and develop strengths, skills and goals,
- develop daily living skills such as cooking and cleaning,
- increase community linkages,
- navigate social housing options,
- assist with Centrelink,
- navigate education options,
- assist with applications such as Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT), National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Youth Housing and Reintegration Services (YHARS), Transition to Independent Living Allowance (TILA).
Jasna said: “Larry and I get great satisfaction helping our young people achieve goals and become independent. Many of them want to be accepted in our society and give back to their community. For example, studying community services to help other vulnerable people. We offer a lot of counselling and motivation to overcome fears and challenges as they move into the next phase of life as an independent adult. Breaking connections with negative people ad environments in their lives is difficult, but we know how to help.”
Both Jasna and Larry agree that Open Minds YOUTH BLOOM program is uniquely specialised and tailored to each individual’s needs.
Larry said “The strength of our program lies in our ability to spend time with our clients – we offer a flexible, non-judgemental service that comes with empathy and understanding. We can attend as soon as the client wants us and offer support for whatever they need.”
When one of Larry’s young clients was asked what he thought of the program, he said “If there are other young people that have been in foster homes and could benefit from some extra support, joining Open Minds will be the best decision you could make. It’ll change your life. I rate Larry 10 out of 10!”
One of Jasna’s young clients said “I like working with Jasna because she is nice and understands my condition. She actually listens to me when I speak and makes me feel important”.
This program aims to provide support as early as possible and avoid negative environmental and personal influences on young people leaving care when they turn 18.
Supports are ideal for youth with common needs such as absence of formal support, underdeveloped skills, lack of community engagement, right through to more complex needs including autism spectrum disorder (ASD), depression, anxiety, alcohol and other drug issues, intellectual impairment and physical disability.