Learning difficulties, mental illness, bullying, homelessness and family issues are preventing approximately 5000 young South Australians from engaging in mainstream high school, according to the State Government.
But offering these young people the chance to continue their education in a more flexible setting can make all the difference to their futures.
Baptist Care SA has been running Flexible Learning Options (FLO) programs since 2010. Last year alone, 40 of our FLO participants gained employment, 20 returned to mainstream schooling, 17 completed SACE in full, while many others resumed their SACE journey or commenced University or VET pathways.
Before transitioning into formal learning, young people often engage with a range of alternative learning programs. Jason* is a good example of this. He was bullied so badly at school that he’d stopped going. After engaging with FLO, he joined our health and fitness group where he made friends and re-built his confidence. With the support of the FLO team, Jason is now working towards his Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award. He has enrolled in a TAFE course and has re-commenced his SACE.
This year our FLO program has extended into regional South Australia, after Baptist Care SA was awarded the contract to help meet a growing need at Grant High School in Mount Gambier.
The new program adds to Baptist Care SA’s existing services in the region which also include Stabilisation and Transition Services (SATS), Semi-Independent Living Service, (SILS) and Short Term Care, Residential Care, and Tumbelin Alcohol and Drug Intervention programs.
*Not his real name
For more information on FLO Programs at Baptist Care SA, please contact Nerissa Tiss, Education, Employment, Training Manager on 0466 208 271 or for Mount Gambier, contact John Merrett, Area Manager, Limestone Coast on 0438 299 732.