We welcome this commitment from the Queensland Government to ensure all vulnerable young people leaving care are given a better chance for success as they take their first steps into adulthood.
The Palaszczuk Government has committed to funding the needs of vulnerable young people in care up to age 21 so they can be better supported as they transition into adulthood.
Previously, when a young person in care turned 19 they were forced to leave the support and safety provided in foster care. This led to a host of challenges including homelessness and unemployment.
Teena Ingram, Director of Child Youth & Family Queensland, Life Without Barriers, reflects on this historic milestone.
"Life Without Barriers Queensland has advocated strongly for extending care and support for young people leaving the child protection system."
"We welcome the Queensland Government announcement today of these first, very important steps, to ensuring that young people who leave care have the same opportunity for support to the age of 21 as all young people. "
Extending post-care support will help young people feel empowered; it will help build self-confidence and self-esteem and it will give them the skills they need to live independently in adulthood.
Minister for Children, Leanne Linard, said the changes were a commitment to continue to walk alongside people in care as they transition to adulthood.
“By extending support to young people up to the age of 21, we are saying to them – you are not alone in taking those daunting first steps towards your independence,” Ms Linard said.
“This will be life-changing for many young people. When I meet with young people in care, they consistently tell me what this additional support would mean for them."
The announcement also highlights the priority of listening to young people’s voices. Young people in residential care placements will now be able to access new support which will be shaped by extensive consultation with young people across Queensland.
$200,000 has been committed in the 2022-23 Budget for work to prepare for implementation including holding focus groups with young people across the state to hear directly from them about what kind of support they want, while funding for allowances and support has been provisioned for from 2023-24.
Read the original Media Statement here.
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