7 November 2022

We did it! We #MadeIt21 in every state and territory!

Image: The Hon Natasha Maclaren-Jones MLC, Minister for Families and Communities and Minister for Disability Services, standing with CREATE staff at the announcement.

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

Claire Robbs, Chief Executive of Life Without Barriers, said the NSW Government’s announcement will result in positive changes for young adults in out-of-home-care (OOHC) 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 final 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.” Ms Robbs said.

Jacintha Batchelor, Life Without Barriers Foster and Kinship Care Ambassador, 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 High School Certificate and beyond.

“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.”

Life Without Barriers extends a huge thank you to all the incredible foster and kinship carers. Many carers have continued to wrap love and support around young people long past the age of 18.

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