Thanks so much for reading CREATE’s July 2022 advocacy wrap-up. It’s been a big month at CREATE and we are excited to share with you what’s been going on!
A key issue CREATE’s been working with on with children and young people around the country and New South Wales in particular is extending support for young people to stay with their carers until at least 21 in New South Wales. As it stands at the moment, financial support for carers (kinship and foster) and residential care leavers ends at 18. Young people in foster care must rely on the willingness of their carer to keep them on in their placement often without financial support from the Government. In the case of residential care, young people need to apply for other financial assistance, along with applying for social housing or private rentals, after they turn 18. This all takes place right when young people are trying to manage a number of life transitions including leaving alternative care. At CREATE, we think the Government should be doing more to support young people through a tough time and young people in NSW tell us the same thing.
CREATE believe that young people need to be supported to find safe, stable and sustainable accommodation as they transition to independence and to receive financial support to obtain this. At the moment 33% of young people leave care in NSW without access to supports and housing, often experiencing homelessness after they leave care. According to Australian and international research, homelessness and unstable housing are experienced by young people leaving care more than the general population. For young people in NSW this is not good enough from the state with the country’s largest care population. CREATE calls on the NSW Government to strengthen its support for care leavers by extending financial and practical support to keep young people in their placements until at least 21. We also call on them to provide direct financial and housing assistance to young people transitioning out of residential care.
CREATE will keep you up to date on how our #itsyourturnNSW #makeit21 campaign progresses over the coming weeks and months.
Head to our website here to access more information and how to get involved in the NSW Campaign to push NSW to better support young people transitioning out of care.
CREATE completed two submissions in July. One was addressing the Transition to Independent Living Allowance (TILA) for the Department of Social Services (DSS). The second submission was for the systemic inquiry into the educational experiences of children and young people living in out-of-home care that the Office of the Commissioner of Children and Young People in Victoria had released recently.
CREATE’s TILA submission was to echo and complement the submissions of children and young people that DSS received via the TILA survey that closed on Saturday the 30th of July. Some key areas were increasing the amount of the payment, giving more ownership to young people to manage their own applications, and building awareness of the allowance amongst young people in care.
Our other submission to the Commissioner of Children and Young People in Victoria is viewable here. It combines our consultations, position papers, and previous submissions around education that are informed by the voice of children and young people with a care experience. CREATE will continue to advocate for the voices of young people with a care experience while this review of education for children and young people in care progresses through the Victorian Government.
CREATE will soon begin our consultations in partnership with the Queensland Government around extending care to 21. We will be assisting by talking with young people with a care experience about ways that the Government can ensure that they provide adequate support to young people transitioning from care. We will follow up these suggestions to ensure they get used in the future transitioning from care system that the government announced in June.
CREATE, along with 3 passionate and eloquent young consultants, met with Shadow Minister for Child Protection and Youth Justice, Youth Affairs, and Transport Infrastructure, Matthew Bach from Victoria last week. They discussed the key priorities that CREATE and young people in Victoria want progressed by the current government or whichever government wins the election at the end of November. Those topics were extending care to age 25, raising the age of criminal responsibility, supporting the physical, social, and emotional health and wellbeing of young people, and listening and acting on the voices of young people in care.
Shadow Minister Bach was committed to listening to the voices of young people in care and is open to maintaining an active relationship with CREATE’s Young Consultants regardless of the result of the election in November.
What’s coming up?
Stay up to date with us on social media and through our e-newsletter. Have a great August!