Q. What will the living arrangements be like? Will I have my own place?
A. Each participant will have his or her own accommodation, (apartment etc.). You may already have your own place or may wish to choose one with the help of your Venture Academy counsellor. If agreed upon, you may choose to live with up to one other participant in the program.
Q. What are the program expectations of me? What can I do so that I’m not bored?
A. Once accepted into the program, your independent living counsellor will assist you in accomplishing your goals. These agreed upon service objectives may range from participating in recreational activities, reviewing your behaviours, leading a healthy lifestyle, continuing your education, finding a part time job, becoming aware of community services, working through family difficulties, enhancing your interpersonal skills, or many other planned or spontaneous activities.
Q. How long will I stay in the Independent Living Program?
A. Ultimately, this decision is between you and your parents. Venture Academy recommends you participate in the program until most, or all of the originally identified goals have been completed. Depending on your willingness and motivation, usually this means a minimum stay of about six months. Sometimes, completing these goals may take longer, or you may discover new goal areas to work on. You may also want to continue with new-found activities and friendships. In these instances, you may be in the program for eight to ten months, or longer. Some young adults need ongoing support. For them, our services may be accessed indefinitely.
Q. My parents want to know that I’m going to be safe and feel comfortable while away from home. How can they be assured of this?
A. Without a doubt, your safety is of the utmost importance to Venture Academy. All staff (who are subject to criminal record checks and trained in non-violent crisis intervention) are chosen because of their compassion and proven experience in successfully working with youth and young adults. Whether it be a one on one discussion, or securing a residence in a safe neighborhood, the Venture Academy team make it their priority to ensure all participants feel emotionally safe and are physically protected.
Q. When can I go home to visit my family?
A. Anytime. Venture Academy staff recognizes that this may be the first time the participants have been separated from their families for an extended period. Keeping in mind the programs objectives, participants and parents are encouraged to pre-plan home visits in a manner least disruptive to the participants established routines.
Q. Can family come and visit me?
A. Yes. Visits can be accommodated at anytime. Venture Academy staff will take time to talk with your parents about the program, your goals, objectives and your participation.
Q. I’ve noticed words like therapeutic, emotional growth, self-esteem, etc. Do you need to have some kind of “problem” to get into Venture Academy’s Independent Living Program?
A. No. Venture Academy believes that all youth and young adults benefit from our nurturing philosophy, ambitious expectations, skill building and the application of these universal principles such as emotional growth support, life skills etc. Each individual is different. We help young adults achieve agreed upon growth and service objectives as identified in your Individual Service Plan.
Q. What if I want to pursue an activity I recently experienced while in the Independent Living Program?
A. No problem. With your parent’s approval, Venture Academy will match you with an identified resource and help you develop a more intensive schedule that will favour greater involvement in the activity of your choice.
Q. I have a special diet and there are things that I can’t or won’t eat. How can this be accommodated?
A. Your Independent Living Support Counsellor assists you in grocery shopping and planning your meals and based on the Canada Food Guide recommendations, your personal tastes and food preparation abilities. Your special diet will be accommodated.
Q. My spiritual life is important to me. Will I be able to attend church and practice my religion while participating in the Venture Academy Independent Living Program?
A. Yes, Venture Academy is sensitive to the spiritual beliefs of young adults and their families. If desired, you will be supported in accessing an identified place of worship and will be given the respect and freedom to practice your religion.
Q. What happens if I get sick? Will I be able to have access to a doctor and a pharmacy?
A. Your health is very important. Any illness will be attended to immediately. You will have access to emergency medical care or a doctor for any treatments necessary. Venture Academy has a pharmaceutical consultant whom identifies appropriate over the counter medication for young adults in need of help with minor medical conditions.
Q. What happens if I’ve signed up for a certain period and realize after sometime that things won’t work out for me in the Independent Living Program?
A. Venture Academy staff will attempt to support you in working through any difficulties you may be experiencing. If the time does come that you must leave the program, you may do so at any time under the terms of the contract.