The importance of ‘aftercare’ for children who spent time in out of home care was starting to be recognised by the late 1930s, when ‘for the first time, options other than farm work and domestic service were seen as possible‘. However, even as late as the 1950s, young women were still being placed in ‘domestic service’ after leaving institutional ‘care’, and young men were sent off to work as farm labourers.
Thanks to the advocacy of those who experienced being cut off from any support once they came of age, the pathway into adulthood and further education has just become easier, with all Australian states & territories announcing plans to extend support up to the age of 21.
Currently, children in out of home care are cut off from all support when they 18, leaving many battling to find a home, work, and support as they try to complete year 12.
“I feel like if people actually had the help, like the support that they need … there wouldn’t be a lot of young people out on the street” – Read more about the additional support being made available to young out of home care leavers here: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-02-24/out-of-home-care-leavers-support-age-21-centrelink/102002736
Meanwhile, advocates are calling for a nationwide roll out of the Victorian initiative Raising Expectations, to support young people in out of home care into post-secondary education.
The initiative, which partners with La Trobe University, Federation University Australia and Swinburne University of Technology, has seen the number of out of home care leavers enrolled in TAFE or university jump from 43 in 2015 to 670 in 2022.
“Scaling up this proven model across the country would improve the life opportunities for many care leavers in each jurisdiction through improved access to post-secondary education” – Read more about Raising Expectations here: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-02-17/former-out-of-home-care-young-people-tertiary-enrolment-boost/101975154