Continued support for young people leaving out-of-home care

The Morrison Government is extending the Towards Independent Adulthood trial in Western Australia to help support young people scheduled to leave out-of-home care in coming months.

Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston and Assistant Minister for Children and Families Michelle Landry have today announced additional funding of $720,000 to Wanslea Family Services to ensure the trial can continue until 31 March 2021 through the COVID-19 crisis.

Minister Ruston said unprecedented challenges presented by COVID-19 meant that extending the trial was essential to ensure participants could continue to receive support during these uncertain times.

“The physical distancing and travel restrictions across the country have resulted in unforeseen barriers in providing support to our young people in out-of-home care,” Minister Ruston said.

“That’s why I’m pleased to confirm that the Government will be stepping up to extend the Towards Independent Adulthood trial at what is a critical juncture in the lives of these participants.”

Assistant Minister Landry said that as part of an ongoing assessment, youth workers on the ground reported that the trial was demonstrating positive outcomes for young people in care across a range of crucial indictors including in education, housing and employment.

“This trial is helping young people with skills such as attending and graduating from school, applying for TAFE courses, obtaining a drivers licence, securing private housing and getting a job,” Assistant Minister Landry said.

“Our youth in out-of-home care are among our most vulnerable Australians, and they deserve every bit of support and guidance that we can offer as they prepare for an independent life as adults.

“I hope that today’s announcement will provide them with some assurance, stability and security going forward.”

To find out more about the Towards Independent Adulthood trial visit: dss.gov.au/families-and-children-programs-services-children/towards-independent-adulthood-trial