Children in COLT’s long-term residential care generally leave our centre when they turn 18. As many of them don’t have any family they can fall back on, we start to prepare them for this moment a long time before. In order to make their transition to an independent life as smooth as possible, COLT partners up with various specialized organisations.
Junior Staff Team (JST)
COLT’s Junior staff team was founded in 2012 to benefit the older children in our care. While they help with the daily work in the community centre they gain some work experience and discover what they like. In exchange, they receive a small monthly allowance of which they may spend half. The other half is deposited into their private savings account, which they can withdraw at the moment they leave COLT. The work varies from teaching and cooking to organizing sports activities for neighbourhood children.
Choosing your next step
COLT encourages young people to study. That can be a study at the university, but of course also a vocational training. COLT regularly organizes activities to discover where their interests lie. This can for example be an occupation day where professionals come to talk about their work as an accountant, mechanic or social worker. In addition, children from the age of 16 go on an internship so that they can experience first-hand what their dream job really involves. The children are guided by social workers throughout the process of choosing their next step.
Studying after COLT
Young people starting with a course may move on to the Midway House (MWH). This is a student house where students from NFC (New Future for Children) and COLT live together. The Midway House was founded by the Dutch Dom-Ray foundation. While Dom-Ray pays the rent, the residential students are responsible for all other costs. All people living in the Midway House are required to have a part-time job besides their studies. One of the students is elected as the house representative and supervises daily chores and any issues that might come up. The Midway House is a safe and pleasant place where young people can take the next step towards a bright future.
In exchange for a financial contribution to their study, the young adults that leave our centre and start a study have to discuss their study results with the shelter manager once every three months. This allows the local staff to maintain the relationship with the fledglings, give advice but also to make some tough decisions if necessary. If they consistently fail to show commitment to their education, COLT can choose to halve or even terminate their financial support.