Out of Home Care

Pathfinders Out of Home Care (OOHC) – Residential

The Pathfinders Residential Care Program supports young people living in out-of-home care. Assistance is provided when a young person (aged 12 to 18 years) is unable to live with their parents, relatives or foster carers.

Our residential care program offers a place for the young person to live with the support of care staff, 24 hours a day. Care staff aim to provide all residents with trauma-informed care via a therapeutic approach. Through our delivery of the program, Pathfinders creates long-term, consistent and caring environments in which we help young people develop good health, safety, cultural and community connection, and emotional development and learning.

The Pathfinders Residential Care Program supports young people to:

  • attend school and/or alternate education settings
  • meet their health care needs and make connections with health care professionals
  • develop independence and expand their independent living skills
  • establish and work on hobbies and personal interests
  • identify and achieve set goals
  • build connections with their culture, communities and families (where suitable), and
  • ensure their emotional needs are met and genuine supports are in place.

Our program currently operates residential facilities in Armidale, Glen Innes, Inverell, Tamworth and the Mid North Coast.

Young woman in out of home care
Supported Independent Living for young people

Supported Independent Living

Pathfinders’ Supported Independent Living (SIL) program aims to prepare and assist young people living in out-of-home care. 

The program helps to create a smooth transition to adulthood by providing young people with the opportunity to experience independent living with personalised support. It also equips them with important skills and knowledge for living self-sufficiently. 

Our caseworkers and mentors provide intensive support to young people by:

  • helping to find a suitable place to live and arranging the rental lease on their behalf
  • informing them of their rights and responsibilities as a tenant
  • providing education, training and employment options 
  • assisting them to furnish their home and maintain their property
  • developing their housekeeping and cleaning skills 
  • planning easy, affordable and nutritious meals 
  • guiding their budgeting skills to develop financial self-sufficiency, and 
  • setting up their administrative needs, such as a Centrelink account, tax file number and doctor appointments. 

Our SIL program is flexible and can be tailored to suit each individual’s requirements. As a young person’s skills increase, the SIL caseworker and mentors will gradually minimise their involvement. The young person will ideally have developed all the skills necessary to take over their lease independently at the end of the two-year program. 

Making a referral

To refer an eligible young person to the Pathfinders SIL program, email NewEngland.CFDU@dcj.nsw.gov.au.
Once received, the Child and Family District Unit (CFDU) will determine eligibility and advise whether the referral has been approved or declined. 

If approved, the referral will be forwarded to Pathfinders and an SIL coordinator will arrange a meeting with the young person to design a plan that suits their residential preferences and their educational or employment goals. 

Rose Villa – a new Pathfinders Supported Independent Living facility 

Rose Villa is a new independent living facility development located 4km outside of Armidale, New England. The facility was purchased in 2021 to support the delivery of the NSW Government’s Supported Independent Living (SIL) program. 

Redevelopment of the property into a supported independent living facility started in late 2021 and is now complete. These renovations will ensure that the facility meets the government’s SIL requirements and is suitable for young people aged 16–17 living in out-of-home care.

The upgraded facility will have the capacity to house ten to thirteen young people who will each have their own unit. It will offer 10 units, one 3-bedroom residence and one fully self-contained unit. A combined kitchen, dining and recreational lounge area has been installed and alterations have been made to facilitate disability access to one of the units.

Grant funding for the development of the Rose Villa facility was received from Lendlease’s FutureSteps grant program. It is the first time this funding has been provided to a regional project in NSW. The FutureSteps grant program is administered by the Community Enterprise Foundation, and the program supports established charities and community organisations to deliver shelter and housing projects. Pathfinders is grateful for this financial assistance and for FutureSteps’ investment in providing long-term support.

If you would like more information about Rose Villa or would like to discuss a potential referral, contact the Out-of-Home Care Intake Manager or SIL Coordinator on OOHCIntake@pathfinders.ngo or laurag@pathfinders.ngo.

Interim Care Model (ICM)

The Pathfinders Interim Care Model (ICM) refers to a model where young people aged between 9 and 14 can receive short-term care at a designated property for three to six months.

Pathfinders owns and operates an ICM property located 15 minutes from Armidale. The property spans many acres and includes a spacious family home. The large backyard offers residents the opportunity to interact with different types of animals, get their hands dirty in the veggie garden or harness their creativity in the woodwork shed.

Our ICM property is the only one of its kind in NSW. It is run by two houseparents (carers), who live with their two children in the house. The houseparents have capacity to provide care for up to four additional young persons at the property. This setting creates a familiar, home-like environment for new residents, which assists with their upskilling and transition planning.

Whilst a young person is residing at the ICM property, their caseworkers have time to complete intensive casework tasks, such as organising group conferences and sourcing long-term kinship or foster care placement opportunities.

Caseworkers visit the property on a weekly basis to ensure that the young person is working towards their case plan goals and to discuss their transition to long-term placement.

Representatives from the Department of Communities and Justice and other agencies also conduct weekly meetings with the houseparents to track the progress of the residents.

The carers are supported by a therapeutic specialist employed by Pathfinders, who provides in-home support and specialised training that is tailored to the needs of the young people.

Pathfinders also supports the houseparents by facilitating supervision with a local clinical psychologist and regular respite periods. This grants them valuable time to spend with their biological children and extended family.

Young man cooking in a short term accommodation
Portrait of a young man cooking

Short-Term Emergency Placement

Short Term Emergency Placement (STEP) is a 13-week emergency placement program for young people aged 12 to 18 years. The placement is tailored for children and young people with high needs who cannot be immediately supported in foster care, kinship/relative care or intensive therapeutic care.

STEP facilitates a 1:1 care arrangement for the young person, with therapeutic supports provided to assist their transition to another placement type when sourced.

Pathfinders currently operate STEP houses in the following locations: Coffs Harbour, Inverell, Port Macquarie and Tamworth. We are also building capacity in other service areas.

Program Contacts

Pathfinders Out of Home Care Services

109 Jessie Street,
Armidale NSW 2350

PO BOX 1052,
Armidale NSW 2350

Mon – Friday 9:00am – 5:00pm

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