Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions from young people the SAIL Program



What is the SAIL Program? How does it work?

The SAIL Program is the name for Knowles Centre's Supported Advancement to Independent Living Program.

The SAIL Program assists youth ages 16 and up to gain the skills they need to live on their own when they leave care. Youth are paired with a trained Support Worker who assists them to build their skills while they are in the SAIL apartment. Later, the Support Worker will help them find and move into a place of their own. Youth are part of the SAIL program and receive help from the Support Workers until they complete the program or are discharged from care.

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Do I qualify for this program?

Youth who are 16 years or older and are in the care of a child and family service agency can be referred to the SAIL Program.

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How much time does it take?

There is no set time for anyone to complete the program.

You will begin to meet with your support worker before you move into a SAIL apartment. This gives you a chance to get to know each other and prepare for your move. Together with your support worker, you will also begin to assess the skills you have, and those you need to build so you will be ready to live independently following the SAIL program.

Once you move into your own apartment, your Support Worker will continue to meet with you regularly until you graduate from the program or no longer in care of a CFS agency. Most youth will begin when they are 16 or 17 years old, and can expect to be in the program for about a year or more.

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What will I learn in the SAIL Program? What kinds of things will I do with my Support Worker?

The SAIL Program is designed to fit you. That means you can spend more time on the skills where your have more to learn, and less time where you already have some competence.

The areas we will cover include:

The SAIL Program focuses on these key areas:

  • Time management and organizational skills
  • Money management and consumer awareness
  • Food management
  • Self care
  • Housekeeping
  • Housing
  • Transportation
  • Education and employment
  • Emergency and safety skills
  • Community resources
  • Legal issues
  • Pregnancy, parenting and child care
  • Interpersonal skills

Together with your Support Worker you will practice the skills you need. That might mean cooking in a real kitchen, learning how to do laundry using washer and dryer, visiting different apartments, stores, banks, community resources, etc.

Once you are living in your apartment, you will attend monthly get-togethers with others in the program. The sessions tend to alternate between group recreation activities and presentations about key issues such as community resources, healthy life-style options, and more. They will also give you a chance to get to know others in the program, share tips, and talk about your experiences.

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Do I have to go?

All youth who are leaving care and will be living on their own should take steps to prepare for this new part of life. You can discuss with your social worker/legal guardian whether the SAIL Program is right for you. Ideally all youth in the program will be motivated to attend and ready for the challenge of living on their own.

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Do I have to be a client at Knowles Centre to take part?

No. SAIL accepts youth in to the program from other treatment centres, foster homes, shelters, group homes, etc.

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Do I have to pay for the program?

No. Your CFS agency will cover the cost while you participate in the program.

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How can I take part if I have to go to school?

School is important. Support Workers will work around your school schedule.

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Why can't I stay at Knowles Centre/my foster home/my group home?

Places like youth group homes and treatment centres like Knowles Centre are for people under age 18. Young people may sometimes stay in a foster home past their 18th birthday when they remain in care on an "extension".

Most youth will "age out" of care when they reach the age of 18. As this time approaches, you and your social worker should discuss what your options are and come up with a plan together.

If the SAIL Program is right for you, we can help you to prepare for living on your own.

If you still need some of the services you used while in care, your SAIL Support Worker will help you find other agencies that help young adults.

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Do I have to take part in the program if I already know how to live on my own?

It's great if you feel prepared to live on your own already but you will likely still gain lots of good information from the SAIL Program. If you already have a lot of the skills needed, you will be able to move through the program quickly.

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Will you tell me where I have to live?

After the short, initial stage, most clients live in one of the SAIL program apartments. You will have your own private one-bedroom suite, furnish with items you select, and be responsible for its upkeep.

After you graduate from the prgram, you will have the final say in where you live. Your SAIL Support Worker will work with you to find a place that is affordable, safe and comfortable.

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What if I want to live outside of Winnipeg?

Currently, the SAIL program focuses on living arrangements in the Winnipeg area.

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How will I get around when I am in the SAIL Program?

At first, your Support Worker may drive with you for some activities. However, you will also be expected to take the the bus to get where you need to go, such as school, work, appointments, shopping, etc.). Taking the bus is new to many young people leaving care, but your support worker will help you become a pro.

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Will you help me find work?

Your Support Worker will help you prepare to find work. You will also learn about the various resources in the community that help youth find work.

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Will you help me go to college or university or training school? Will you pay?

You and your support worker will explore your options for college, university or training school. Unfortunately the SAIL Program cannot cover the costs of these programs. However we will help you explore options to help with these costs.

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Who will pay for my apartment? Furniture? Food? Clothing? Other expenses?

While you are in the SAIL program your CFS agency covers the costs of rent, furniture, food, clothing and other expenses. Money is paid to the SAIL program, who will work with you to budget, plan and shop for the things you need.

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How will you teach me to cook, wash my clothes, etc.?

Most young people come in with some basic skills. However, while you are living in your SAIL apartment, your Support Worker will practice skills with you using your ownkitchen and the building's laundry facilities, etc. so that you will know how to do these things when you are living completely on your own.

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What if I don't do well living on my own? What if I need more help?

SAIL staff are here to support you. You will only move into your own place when everyone feels you are ready and able to manage. If problems come up after you are on your own we can give you extra support until you are able to manage better.

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