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STEP OUT is an 8 / 10-week adventure-based youth work program which brings together a group of 10 young people to get outdoors, step out of their comfort zone, and take a step in the right direction. Participants in STEP OUT meet weekly to engage in outdoor activities, such as bushwalking, and get involved in team-building sessions which focus on developing important life skills and a resilient mindset. STEP OUT is centred around the Operation Flinders Exercise, a 100km trek over eight days in the northern Flinders Ranges at Yankaninna Station. Participants on an Operation Flinders Exercise are challenged both physically and mentally in a remote environment while being supported by trained staff and field volunteers.

 

The Operation Flinders Exercise is our core program and is only available to young people who attend a school or agency that are involved with Operation Flinders. STEP OUT is more extensive than just our core program and is available to all suitable and eligible applicants living in the greater Adelaide region. STEP OUT is designed for a wide array of young people ranging from those presenting challenging behaviours from complex backgrounds to those who may just need some extra guidance and support.

STEP OUT is aimed towards young people aged 14-18 who are both physically prepared to undertake a challenging 8-day hiking expedition and voluntarily committed to participation in the full length of the program.

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CRITERIA

Referral criteria will be based on the young person exhibiting one or more of the following factors:

  • Family dysfunction
  • Association with negative peer groups with anti-social attitudes
  • Early involvement with alcohol and/or drug use
  • Childhood trauma
  • Disengagement from education, training and/or employment
  • Anti-social behaviour (including community offending)
  • Previous school/agency referral to one or more support services
  • Social and/or economic disadvantage

Exclusion criteria – STEP OUT is NOT SUITABLE for young people who:

  • Have active psychosis or a mental health diagnosis requiring ongoing medication or hospitalisation
  • Are substance dependent and require a medically supervised “detox”
  • Are suicidal or are actively self-harming
  • Are forced to attend under Court or Supervision Orders
  • Require a substitute for temporary housing/accommodation
  • Do not have a fixed address and support of a parent/carer/guardian
  • Do not live within the Greater Adelaide Region

WHAT TO EXPECT

APPLICATION PROCESS

Those interested in referring a young person to STEP OUT must apply online by completing the STEP OUT application form. This form can be completed by any adult looking to refer a young person to the program. The intake process will begin in February 2022 where applicants will be assessed for suitability to enter the program based on their application form. The program coordinator will then call the referring adult to better understand the young person’s situation. An orientation meeting will be organised which will likely be at the young person’s school and may involve the young person, program coordinator, parent(s), and a representative from their school. This provides the opportunity for the program to be explained in detail, and all questions to be answered. If the young person is suitable and genuinely interested in the program, the program coordinator may accept them into one of the three teams running in 2022.

Please note: Operation Flinders is not a crisis support service. We specialise in Adventure Based Therapy with our focus area being prevention. If the young person you are referring needs more immediate support, please email caseworker@operationflinders.org and we can provide you with a list of external referral options.