7 November 2022

Life Without Barriers commends the NSW Government on its significant decision to extend the age of foster care kinship or residential care from 18 to 21.

Chief Executive of Life Without Barriers, Claire Robbs said the NSW Government’s announcement will result in positive changes for young adults in out-of-home care and ultimately, contribute to improving their lives in the long term.

“I am very pleased with the NSW Government’s commitment to young people in the child protection system – the provision of an additional three years of support is vital for their development as they navigate early adulthood,” Ms Robbs said.

“Extending the age of support to 21 also acknowledges the crucial role that foster and kinship carers have in supporting the children who join their family which often extends beyond 18 years old.

NSW is the last state to commit to raising the age for support for children in foster, kinship or residential care.

“We also know this decision will have positive impacts on increasing employment and education opportunities and contribute to lowering the rate of homelessness among young people who have experiences in out-of-home care.”

Life Without Barriers Foster and Kinship Care Ambassador, Jacintha Batchelor said she strongly believes that to help a young person to reach their full potential, they need to be supported through the pressures of their Higher School Certificate and beyond.

“In our home, we will continue to offer the children in our care a home for as long as they want and need,” Mrs Batchelor said.

“This support also helps young people to feel valued and give them a safety net, as well as showing carers that the Government recognises young people need support in those crucial years to 21.”

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