Increased support for young people in Manning Valley

CatholicCare Social Services Hunter-Manning is in the process of expanding its Out of Home Care and Supported Independent Living programs into the Taree area.

The decision to move into Out of Home Care (OOHC) and Supported Independent Living (SIL) programs is in response to a significant gap in services for young people aged 16 to 18 who are preparing to leave care in the Manning Valley.

CatholicCare in Taree already provides a suite of services including Brighter Futures, Personal Helpers and Mentors (PHaMs) and Counselling. The addition of OOHC and SIL programs will strengthen the continuum of care that CatholicCare provides for vulnerable people in the Manning Valley.

The SIL program provides housing and support for young people aged 16-18 who have been living in OOHC and who are preparing to leave care when they turn 18 years of age. The overall aim of the program is to prepare and support young people in making a smooth transition from their foster care or residential care placement to independent living through the provision of public or private accommodation, case management and support services.

CatholicCare’s Case Managers work in collaboration with each young person to identify his or her goals and develop individual case plans so that each young person has a clear plan to work towards. Evidenced-based practice tells us that young people aged 16-18 have the highest chance of making a successful transition into adult life when they are equipped with the skills to become self-sufficient through education, training and employment.

With this in mind, the success of the SIL program in the Manning Valley is due to the team’s ability to develop partnerships with a range of government and non-government agencies that provide pathways for young people who access the program to link into education, training, employment and other community-based activities of their choice. This can be particularly challenging in a rural community where options for young people are sometimes limited.

CatholicCare Social Services is fortunate to be supporting young people in the Manning Valley where the community is rich in resources. Being able to access employment and training opportunities from the local community helps young people focus on their strengths, interests, abilities, knowledge and capacities, rather than their limitations.

The members of the Taree team are excited to be able to use their skills and expertise to deliver an outcome-focused program that positively affects the young people they support. It is a privilege to be supporting young people and watching them develop independence and resilience as they move from adolescence to adulthood.  

Referrals to the SIL program are made through NSW Family and Community Services. For more information about the program please P the Taree office, 6539 5900.

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Gary Christensen

Gary Christensen is the Director of CatholicCare Social Services Hunter-Manning. Please visit

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