Supported Advancement to Independent Living (SAIL)

Knowles Centre's SAIL Program helps youth living in care of the child welfare system to gain the skills and competencies they need to gradually transition to living independently in the community as young adults.

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

How SAIL Works

The SAIL Program is presented in three stages:

Stage 1

Clients begin to receive support from the SAIL Program as they prepare to leave their current group home, foster home, shelter, or treatment setting. With the help of a SAIL support worker, the client begins to accumulate household needs in anticipation of moving into a SAIL apartment. This time also helps to establish a positive relationship between the client and support worker that will contribute to the client's success during their journey to independence.

Stage 2

A safe and clean apartment suite is ready for SAIL clients as they move to the next stage. The program operates several apartment buildings in southeast Winnipeg; which are supervised 24-hours per day. Typically, clients may live in the supported apartment for one year or more.

Here, clients work regularly with a SAIL support worker. Together they assess the client's strengths, and identify and build on the client's skills needed for independent living. Learning takes place both in the apartment setting and in the community as clients explore available resources and services alongside their support worker.

Over time, as clients gain confidence and ability, they are able to take on more responsibility and independence. The role of the support worker gradually shifts from a leader to a resource.

Stage 3

SAIL is committed to a smooth transition for clients at every stage. Clients continue to receive support and guidance for a few months once they graduate from their SAIL apartment and move into their own long-term place in the broader community.

Support is never far away. A 24-hour help line is available to clients who need assistance with unexpected problems, as well as emotional support and guidance.

The Young People We Serve

The program welcomes young people (both male and female) ages 16 and over who are living in care as a permanent or temporary ward, or under voluntary placement. They may be from Winnipeg or other Manitoba communities, and have no plans to live at their family home upon discharge.

Currently the SAIL Program focuses on helping its clients prepare to settle in the Winnipeg area.

The program is able to help those who have significant emotional or behavioural needs. However, the program may not be suitable for those with long-term special needs or who struggle with violent or other unsafe behaviours.

Clients may continue to be involved in the SAIL Program until they graduate from the program or are discharged from care.

Referrals to the SAIL Program

Potential clients may be referred directly to the SAIL Program by child and family services agencies. An updated social history and any assessments provided by the agency assist in determining if the SAIL Program is appropriate to the client's needs.

Prior to admission, youth will participate in a meeting along with SAIL staff, the current caregiver and social worker to ensure the program will meet their needs.

For more information, click to print a SAIL Program brochure, or contact

Dawn Vandal
Director, SAIL Program
Telephone: 204-339-1951 (ext. 148)
Fax: 204-334-4173
Email: sail@knowlescentre.org