Hi there and thanks for reading our advocacy wrap up for October and November. We’ve got lots to update you on from New South Wales and Queensland around #makeit21 and our Hour of Power session in Victoria ahead of their state election in late November.
NSW Made it 21
First of all, the NSW Government, after receiving years of feedback from young people in their state and noting the commitment from other Australian states and territories, formally announced its decision to provide targeted extended support for young people in care until they reach the age of 21. This campaign, following extensive advocacy by CREATE Young Consultants and sector partners (HomeStretch), finally achieved its goal of having extended care support to 21 available for young people in child protection systems throughout Australia. NSW was the last jurisdiction to commit and it’s terrific to know that young people will get significant support further into adulthood.
The battle for support that meets the needs of young people doesn’t end there though. Now that all states have committed to support to 21, we need to make sure that the proposed policies actually are implemented and the young people get the benefits. Some ideas we’ve heard from young people is now thinking of extending care to 25 (to better match what is happening in families not in the care system); also explore the introduction of mentors who can assist young people to access needed services that help them live independently in their communities. We’d love to hear your thoughts about ways we can support young people with a care experience; send us an email at email@example.com or reach out to us on Instagram or facebook. We’d love to hear from you.
CREATE staff with Minister Natasha MacLaren-Jones at the NSW announcement.
Young People Consulting with QLD Government on support to 21
Since the QLD Government announced the project to extend care and placement support for young people until age 21, CREATE has been working with young people right across the state to make sure that their voices, experiences, and needs are at the centre of the new support package that starts in July 2023. The next stage in the project is for the government to consider all the evidence provided and decide on a model for the support. CREATE will have many opportunities for young people to get involved in subsequent steps for this project, so stay tuned on our socials and via these advocacy wrap ups over the coming months.
Hour of Power Victoria
The Victorian team ran a successful Hour of Power session in October where Young Consultants from CREATE were able to host a conversation about what’s needed for young people in the out-of-home care sector ahead of the Victorian state election. They invited decision-makers and change makers from the Victorian parliament including the Minister for Child Protection and Family Services, Colin Brooks, and Shadow Minister for Child Protection and Youth Justice, Mathew Bach, to answer questions directly from young people.
Both sides of the Victorian parliament committed to legislating the support to 21 initiative that the government has implemented over the last few years. This is to make sure that young people seeking support have certainty regarding what supports will be available and who will be able to access them.
Both sides of parliament also committed to supporting the Ministerial Youth Advisory Group (MYAG) into the future. There was also wide agreement, from politicians, young people, and sector partners, on the importance of lived-experience voices being at the centre of decision-making and program design. Governments, the not-for-profit sector, and businesses all have a role to play in bringing the voices of lived experience into their decision-making processes.
Now that the election has been won by the Andrews Labor Government, CREATE will redouble our efforts to ensure that the legislation goes through and that the MYAG is supported. Stay tuned for more information on the advocacy work we’ll continue to do in Victoria.
Thanks for reading about our latest advocacy work and get in touch if you’d like to get involved.