Helping young people transition from out-of-home care
To give additional support to young people leaving out-of-home care, the Gillard Government is providing $1.5 million over the next three years to the national peak body, CREATE Foundation.
The CREATE Foundation represents the voices of all children and young people in out-of-home care across the country.
The Government is working closely with the CREATE Foundation to provide better support for young people as they move from out-of-home care into independent living.
We know that children and young people leaving out-of-home care face many challenges and often do not have the support of their families as they move into adulthood. Young people leaving care have lower education levels, are more likely to be on income support and experience high levels of homelessness.
Protecting children and young people and their right to a safe and healthy life is one of the most important responsibilities of all governments.
The CREATE Your Future program will be expanded to Perth, Darwin and the Hunter region with an injection of over $1.2 million over the next three years. This expansion will help up to 200 additional young people each year avoid homelessness by assisting them to develop a range of important life skills and transition from the care system to independence.
The Government is also providing $300,000 over the next three years to the CREATE Foundation to employ a project officer to contribute to the implementation of the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children, including work on improving transitions for young people leaving care.
Reducing exits from out-of-home care into homelessness is a key priority for the Government under the White Paper. In addition to the funding provided to CREATE Foundation, the Gillard Government jointly funds with the states and territories, 41 projects under the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness to help address this.
The Government is also supporting the CREATE Foundation’s 2011 National Youth Advisory Council Summit in May with $30,000 in funding. The Summit will provide an opportunity for children and young people to voice their views and contribute ideas to assist governments develop appropriate policies.
This funding is a first step to addressing the recommendations of CREATE Foundation’s What’s the Answer? report also being released today.
The report, funded by the Australian Government, makes 58 recommendations to help young people transition to an independent life out of care, including better support in the areas of housing, education, employment, financial security, social relationships, support networks, health, and life skills.
In addition to the funding announced today for CREATE, the Government is working with state and territory governments and the Coalition of Organisations Committed to the Safety and Wellbeing of Australia’s Children to develop a nationally consistent approach to leaving care planning, as recommended in the What’s the Answer report.
This work, together with the new National Standards for out-of-home care from 1 July 2011, will ensure that all young people have a leaving care plan from age 15 that supports their transition from care to independence, regardless of their location.
We are also reviewing the Australian Government’s Transition to Independent Living Allowance (TILA) to make sure it is meeting the needs of young people leaving care. The TILA was increased from $1,000 to $1,500 under the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children, andprovides practical support to help young people with the costs of leaving care and follow pathways to education, employment, stable housing and health services.
The ‘What’s the Answer?’ report can be found at www.fahcsia.gov.au/sa/families/pubs/Pages/whats_the_answer.aspx
Further information on the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children is available at http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/.