Campaign To Amplify Voice Of Care Leavers New South Wales – It’s Time To Make It 21!

NSW is lagging behind every other state and territory when it comes to reducing risk of homelessness and keeping young people with a care experience safe when they turn 18. After all states have raised the age, NSW young people (the largest care community nationally) remain alone in being without access to adequate care and support to 21. 

What do young people say to CREATE?  “Do the politicians tell their kids to leave home when they turn 18?” (Female, 16) 

“How does a young care leaver head out into the world without a reliable safety net, often in the middle of finishing their high school education, and in an overcrowded rental market? The odds are against them and they cannot compete without adequate care and supports,” said CREATE Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Ms Jacqui Reed

“Right now, the NSW government is already well behind schedule in listening to and hearing the voices of children and young people in the NSW out-of-home care system. Now is time for action!” added Ms Reed.

ANNOUNCEMENT – CREATE Foundation just launched a new online campaign to amplify the voices of young people transitioning from care to adulthood by our community coming together to speak up, share the voices and add hashtags #itsyourturnNSW #makeit21.  

Raising the age of support to 21 in NSW is overdue, so the more every person shares the message online, the more we amplify the voice of young people.  Young people in care deserve better and our community’s job is to support them.  

CREATE Foundation is the national consumer body representing the voices of children and young people with an out-of-home care experience (including kinship care, foster care and residential care). CREATE develops policy and research to report on and advocate for a better care system.

Read CREATE Foundation position papers on support to 21 and other key issues for young people in care  

For more information please visit the CREATE website at  

For further comment from CREATE’s Chief Executive, Ms Jacqui Reed, and/or a young person with care experience contact Leigh White, CREATE Communications Advisor, via (m) 0431 932 122 or   Key statistics on the care sector in Australia: 

  • 46,212 children and young people were reported in 2020-21 as living in out-of-home care across Australia (Australian Institute of Health & Welfare, 2022).
  • Young people in out-of-home care are 16 times more likely to be under a youth justice order than the general population.
  • 30% of young people experience homelessness within the first year of leaving care. (McDowall, 2020).
  • 38% of young people have been involved with the justice system.
  • 30% of young people who have left care or preparing to leave care are unemployed.
  • 36% children and young people in care do not live with any of their siblings.
  • 35% of young people in care have five or more caseworkers during their time in care.
  • 67% of young people in care over the age of 15 are not aware of having a leaving care plan.

McDowall, J. J. (2018). Out-of-home care in Australia: Children and young people’s views after five years of National Standards. CREATE Foundation.

McDowall, J. J. (2020). Transitioning to adulthood from out-of-home care: Independence or interdependence? CREATE Foundation.