Welcome to the June 2022 advocacy wrap-up. What a month it’s been!
We’ve got big news out of Queensland with the extension of placement support for kids in care to 21! It’s a massive achievement long argued for by young people with a care experience and so to see this across the line, everyone at CREATE is over the moon! Congratulations to all our young consultants who contributed to this campaign over the years.
We’ve also got a bit more info about our next focus, which will be on NSW, currently the only state or territory in Australia that doesn’t support young people in care beyond 18. It’s time for NSW to make it 21!
Also – make sure you add your voice to the TILA (Transition to Independent Living Allowance) Review that the Department of Social Services has underway!
Queensland makes it 21!
Young Queenslanders with an out-of-home care experience received life-changing news this month with the QLD Government announcing the option to stay in their care placements until 21 years of age. Until now, after they reach 18, their supports ended and they were left with no alternative but to leave care, with little support – which we know can be a really challenging time for young people with a care experience.
Young people in residential care placements will be included in this initiative and will have access to new support which will be shaped by the young people (after extensive consultation across the state). This means that the days of young people in QLD being expected to transition to adulthood at 18, with few supports after they leave care are gone.
The announcement of the Palaszczuk Government’s decision heralds a new era. One that is aligned with the recent passing of the Child Protection Reform and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 where young people won the right to have a voice. This new philosophy, now embedded in legislation, prioritises listening to young people’s voices, in matters that are important to them and providing a supportive future.
Your turn NSW
In NSW young people in care have no formalised support past the age of 18. At that crucial time of transition many young people are in their final year of high school and there could not be a worse time to cut off support. NSW is the last state in Australia to recognise that young people transitioning from the care system to independence deserve to be supported until 21.
The Perrottet Government tells us that it provides support services to 21, yet through CREATE’s direct consultations with young people, we’ve found those services to be inconsistent or absent. This result is disappointing, particularly to young people who have already experienced neglect or abuse, leading to being placed in care in the first place.
CREATE Foundation urges the Perrottet Government to listen and support young people until they reach the age of 21, regardless of if they are in foster, kinship or residential care.
The Department of Social Services (the body that manages the TILA Payment) is looking for feedback from young people about what’s working well and what’s not in the Transition to Independent Living Allowance. This review will pave the way for a better TILA and we’ll have lots more to say about this in the coming months as we see their report. If you want to have a say about TILA click here.