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
March 26, 2023 at 5:52 pm
Any help after leaving care would be fantastic and perhaps help careleavers prepare for the outside world.
March 14, 2023 at 11:12 am
Have there actually been any studies compiled on how many Care Leavers attended University and/or TAFE since 1950?
Care Leavers actually exist in EVERY state of Australia not just Victoria.
March 14, 2023 at 2:03 pm
Thanks for your comment Steve. There are a few studies into Care Leavers attending further education, although we’re not aware of any that trace attendance from the 1950’s that we’re aware of No Child Should Grow Up Like This: Identifying long term outcomes of Forgotten Australians, Child Migrants and the Stolen Generations (pdf) may be useful. Beyond 18: The Longitudinal Study on Leaving Care (pdf)
and Out of care, into university: Raising higher education access and achievement of care leavers (pdf) focus on more recent times but show the increase over time.
Victoria was mentioned in the context of a call by advocates for a roll-out in all states ans territories of an initiative that has been very successful in that state, our apologies if that wasn’t clear.