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Preparing Youth for Independent Living

Keys to Transition is a program offered by NIFCS for youth in care ages 15 to 19. The program’s goal is to equip youth leaving the umbrella of Child Protective services with the life skills required to successfully transition to independent living.

The program will create learning environments for youth, focusing on:

• Social transition — relationships, community participation, housing, health and well-being (including self–esteem and identity) and the development of practical skills required for independent living;
• Economic and financial transition — education/ training, employment and income and
• Cultural Permanency — Accessing First Nation role models throughout the program to encourage and support cultural permanency.

The program has five key competencies:
• Essential Skills
• Work Skills
• Career Exploration
• Employability Readiness
• Cultural Permanency

Over the course of 12 months, youth in care gain valuable work skills and essential life skills through training, experience, shadowing, mentoring and coaching. Participants obtain program certification through a combination of hands-on activities, classroom learning and work placements.

Essential Skills

The Essential Skills portion of the program will focus on basic professional competencies and personal traits expected from entry-level employees.

Professional Competencies
• Communication skills (listening, verbal, written)
• Planning and organizational skills
• Teamwork
• Interpersonal skills
• Critical thinking and problem solving
• Investigation and research skills
• Creative thinking
• Decision-making skills
• Time management
• Bills and budgeting
• Cooking and nutrition
• Healing and cultural teaching circles

Personal Traits
• Professionalism (grooming and self-respect)
• Honesty and integrity
• Positive attitude, motivation, open-mindedness
• Dependability and responsibility
• Adaptability and exibility
• Ability to take constructive feedback
• Hard work and ethics
• Resume writing
• Job searches

Work Skills

The Work Skills portion is to be conducted at short intervals, with the majority of activities scheduled during school breaks and summer months.

Work Skills
Certification in CPR/First Aid, Food Handling, Food Safe, Bear Aware, Cash Handling and WHMIS
Career Exploration
• School Skills
• Job Shadowing
• Workplace Visits and Tours
• Guest Speakers
• Employer Presentations
• Local College Tour
• Career Fair
• Career Focused Mentoring

Employability Readiness
3-week work placement — Utilizing skills learned throughout the program, youth are given the opportunity to participate in a 3-week work placement based on their interests and skills.

Cultural Permanency
Cultural Permanency is supported throughout the program utilizing First Nation mentors and coaches. Further Cultural Permanency activities are accessible through the Pathways Home project.

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