The Department of Communities will partner with Anglicare WA to implement a targeted trial that provides enhanced supports to vulnerable young people transitioning from out-of-home care to independence.
Developed through a unique co-design process with the community services sector and care leavers, the trial will commence in the south metropolitan region from May 2019.
The trial focuses on care leavers between the ages of 18 and 21 who may be at risk of homelessness or unemployment, to help them develop and build on their support network and independent living skills.
The trial will provide one-on-one support provided by a qualified worker who will help the young person build an ongoing circle of support in their life. It also includes a safety net fund to provide stable living arrangements and facilitate access to health, education and life skills services.
The trial demonstrates the Government’s commitment to early intervention and supporting young people leaving care to reach their potential.
There will be regular reviews of the trial as well as ongoing evaluation to track the effectiveness of outcomes for the young people involved.
As stated by Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk:
“Just like other young people, some young people leaving care need additional supports to prepare them to live independently.
“Research suggests young people who have these supports are more likely to move in to work or further education and are less likely to experience unemployment, homelessness or contact with the justice system.
“This project is an example of how the McGowan Government is taking a new approach to addressing complex social issues by co-designing solutions with our community partners and the people using services.
“I want to acknowledge the input of the young people who participated in the co-design process, Anglicare WA, The Homestretch Coalition, and CREATE in Western Australia.”
As stated by Anglicare WA CEO Mark Glasson:
“This pilot will be the first step towards achieving a better outcome for all young people with a State care experience in WA. It’s a step in the right direction, but now the work really begins.
“The involvement of young people with a State care experience was critical to the pilot design. They have the lived experience and know best what the young people taking part in the trial will need.
“Very few young people in WA are expected to move out of their family home on the day they turn 18, and we are a step closer to young people living in State care being extended that same support which many others take for granted.
“We believe the Home Stretch trial will comprehensively demonstrate the benefit to both the participants, and the broader community of increasing the leaving care age to 21.”