The Department of Territory Families, Housing and Communities Minister Kate Warden recently shared the NT government’s commitment to supporting young people to remain in care three additional years, to the age of 21. CREATE Foundation welcomes this investment in young care leavers and is excited about the enshrining of this commitment in legislation.
Ms Jacqui Reed, Chief Executive Officer, CREATE Foundation, commented: “It is enormously pleasing to receive news of Minister Worden’s commitment and focused action toward improving outcomes for young care leavers.”
“Our organisation provides a platform to amplify the voices of young care leavers and for many years we’ve heard the resounding call from young people for appropriate support during transition from care. Both globally and across our nation, governments have already or are currently taking the initiative to increase the leaving care age to 21 with only one state, NSW, remaining at 18.
“After our sector’s continued, determined advocacy for increasing the age to 21, CREATE applauds the Northern Territory government’s decision to invest in tomorrow’s young adults to have the option to remain in care to 21.”
Every night, over 44,906 Australian children will not be sleeping in their own home and are growing up in out-of-home care. CREATE Foundation’s latest independent research titled, Transitioning to adulthood from out-of-home care: Independence or interdependence? revealed young care leavers remain at high risk of homelessness (30%) when they turn 18 and are ejected from the care system. They lose support of their workers, their home and network often with no place to go.
CREATE’s research also found that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people had a higher rate of experience with the Justice system (31%) compared to non-indigenous people (18%). The impact of remaining in care is widely reported as significantly reducing contact with the Justice system.
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’s independent consultations on children and young people’s lived experiences, during and whilst transitioning from care, via http://create.org.au/research-and-publications/
CREATE acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as Australia’s first people and traditional custodians of the lands on which our organisation is located. We pay our respects to ancestors and Elders past, present, and emerging.
For more information please visit the CREATE website at www.create.org.au
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 firstname.lastname@example.org