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A Supported Independent Living Program for Youth
Michael Birmingham; R. J. MacLeod; Gerry R. Farthing
Psychiatric Services 1990; doi:
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University of Toronto

Child and Family Centre of Chedoke-McMaster Hospitals, P.O. Box 2000, Hamilton, Ontanio,Canada, L8N 3Z5

St. Thomas Moore College of the University of Saskatchewan

1990 by the American Psychiatric Association

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This pilot project demonstrated that for selected youth, a supported independent living program can be an effective resource in bridging the transition from home to fully independent living. For some young people, the program may serve as a respite from home while an altered relationship with their family is negotiated. The program's target population of emotionally disturbed youth requires intense emotional support and guidance. They require programs that develop social and interpersonal skills and instrumental skills of daily living. Resource information packages and skill development units that are readily available when needs are identified facilitate such programming.The experience from this project indicates that ongoing support using a group model, structured sessions with incentives for regular attendance, and assistance in budget planning and problem resolution are essential in promoting independent living for older adolescents. Living alone with intensive support is a useful option for some difficult-to-place young people. This option deserves and requires further study to explore its cost-benefits, clinical benefits, and indications and to develop appropriate treatment strategies.

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