All Kinds of News for March 06, 2019
Allowing natural consequences to be the cornerstone of a program model is frustrating, exhausting, and incredibly successful. At the programs of Q&A Associates, young adults are given the necessary freedom to make decisions and experience the natural consequences of those decisions.
Most young adults participating in transitional living programs have histories of attending therapeutic programs, special schools, and outpatient therapy with structured activities designed to fill down time. They have loving parents and families who wanted to protect them and see them experience success, much like their peers at various ages. However, young adults who have grown up with challenges such as mental illness, substance use or abuse, and/or developmental delays, were often placed in situations where they could not self-advocate or self-regulate, which left them being bullied or feeling left out. They were often rescued from these situations, so now, in striving for independence, they lack the experience of living in real life situations with real life consequences.
As stated, allowing natural consequences to occur is not the easiest way to structure a young adult program model, but it is the most effective. For young adults to truly become independent, they must learn how to assess options, make choices and be prepared for consequences - both positive and negative. They must be permitted the space to fail, survive the failure and learn from the mistake so they can make a different choice next time. Failure is an integral part of growing up, but young adults in transitional living programs have often been shielded from failure in their adolescent years, which means they have not developed the necessary skills to navigate the typical failures of adult life. As they enter the transitional living program, they are going to experience failure for the first time. This is one of the most important opoprtunities for growth they can have.
In order to allow natural consequences to occur, the program structure must be patient, employing staff who can coach clients through failure rather than rescue them from it or blame them for it. This allows the clients time for true growth experiences, ones that will propel them into adulthood with resilience and skills to navigate the world. "We strive to create an environment and program model that partners with the community so our clients can truly make choices in every aspect of their lives, from daily chores to employment challenges," commented Angie Shockley, owner of Q&A Associates. "If one of our young adults makes a choice that results in the loss of a job, so be it," she continued; "learning how to lose a job as a result of a personal choice is one of the best ways to devleop character, resilience, and self-awareness." Failure is an underrated tool in the quest for adulthood. Rather than being feared, it can be embraced and utilized for true growth.
About Q&A Family of Programs
Q&A Family of Programs works with young adults ages 18 and up, providing opportunities for each of them to develop independent, functional, and happy lives with a high level of quality. Our clients have struggled to reach independence for a variety of reasons such as the inability to develop and/or implement the life skills needed to be successful, or struggling to obtain consistent employment. Our goal is to help these individuals find meaning and an authentic purpose for their lives and a practical path to achieve their goals.