House Intensive has been a successful part of IOE’s Adult Services’ programming for a number of years now. With the aim of giving young adults with disabilities a taste of what it is like to live more independently, the intensive, which incorporates overnight stays, teaches a range skills in a real life environment. It teaches skills and gives participants practical experience in taking care of themselves, their ‘home’, shopping, budgeting, planning and in working and living collaboratively with others, away from the family home.
Multiple groups take part in House Intensive and programs are tailored to fit with the skills/goals/interests and capacities of each group. Previously operating out of properties in the Yarra Valley, the program has now acquired two new rental properties in Chirnside Park and Scoresby. The group participants have been involved in setting up the new premises, promoting greater independence, stability and ownership. As in previous years, participants are rising to the many challenges they are facing with very positive results all round. Currently House Intensive operates on a one overnight stay basis during week days but plans are afoot for it to be extended to longer weekend stays.
Two support workers, Brooke and Maeve, who work with two of the groups share their experiences of the program.
‘The House Intensive is great program! As the name suggests, the program structure provides the participants with an intensive environment to work on strengths and develop new independent living skills of all levels.
Now with these new rentals, the groups have established a sense of home and ownership. The sleepover component and nurturing space allow the participants to develop routines and take pride in notable progress, as they work on completing daily tasks independently. The outcomes are not only notable during program time, but also within the family home, as reported back from parents/carers. As a Support Worker, I feel extremely fortunate to be working in a program, that celebrates such success.’ Brooke Fletcher
‘My group stays at the Chirnside Park house on a Tuesday through to Wednesday. Everyone has been getting to know each other since starting House Intensive in January. They work together as a team doing the grocery shopping and supporting each other. They have been practicing travel training – occasionally getting lost – and have been making some great connections in the local neighbourhood with shop keepers, bus drivers and neighbours. Participants have also been looking at the community notice boards, keeping an eye out for voluntary work, and are currently filling out applications to walk elderly people’s dogs in the area.
Group members were involved in the set-up in the house too, purchasing lots of items for the house, which gave them a sense of ownership. This week we purchased a BBQ and we’re really excited to use it … and maybe have a party in the future.’ Maeve Farrell
A few comments from the Tues/Wed group:
Aaron: I love the house; it is way better than last years house in Warburton. The house is lovely; everything is nice and clean. We have been cooking dinner cleaning, watching movies at night time. I am enjoying making new friends and having company. Hot chocolate in the evening is good too.
Bron : I am loving my comfortable bed. The house is nice and I get good nights sleep. I enjoy cooking dinner, having facials, playing games with the group, Zumba at the house, shopping in Chirnside Park. I am enjoying getting to know people in my program. There is lots and lots of laundry.
Stephi: I enjoy doing Zumba at the house with the girls, having fun and laughs with the group. I am enjoying making new friends; Aaron is always making me laugh. I also like the cleaning.
Tiana: I like watching movies and TV at the house with the group in the evening. I have been practicing putting the sheet on my doona since starting House Intensive in Jan. I have struggled with this a bit. I wanted to share with everyone that I perfected this now and am super happy. I enjoy cooking and being out and about.