Improving outcomes for young people leaving out-of-home care

Joint Media Release with:

Senator The Hon. Zed Seselja
Assistant Minister for Social Services and Multicultural Affairs

Minister for Social Services, Christian Porter, and Assistant Minister for Social Services and Multicultural Affairs, Zed Seselja, today announced funding of $2.59 million to provide the service delivery component of the Towards Independent Adulthood (TIA) Trial in Western Australia (WA).

“This is the first Commonwealth Government funded trial that will deliver intensive one on one mentoring support to young people in out-of-home care as they transition from formal care to adulthood,” said Minister Porter.

“I am pleased to announce that Wanslea Family Services has been selected to provide service delivery for the TIA Trial from April 2017.

“They will employ Personal Advisers who will provide one-on-one mentoring and targeted supports to young people aged 16 years who are currently in out-of-home care in metropolitan Perth and the Peel, Wheatbelt and South West regions.”

CREATE Foundation’s 2013 Report Card showed that of those young people who left care, 35 per cent are homeless in the first year, 29 per cent are unemployed and 70 per cent are dependent on welfare payments.

“These figures are concerning and highlight the importance of prevention and early intervention—a key focus of the Third Action Plan of the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children,” Assistant Minister Seselja said.

“The TIA trial continues the Government’s commitment to support children and young people in the early years and at critical points in their lives,” Assistant Minister Seselja said.

“Young people in out-of-home care should have the same opportunities as other young people.”

The Personal Advisers will help up to 80 young people to develop skills to live independently and assist them with priority access to housing, education, training, employment and specialist support services. The Advisers will support the young people for up to three years as they move towards becoming independent adults.

The WA Department for Child Protection and Family Support is working collaboratively with the Department of Social Services to implement the Trial and will identify and refer the young participants to Wanslea.

WA Minister for Child Protection, Simone McGurk, welcomed the trial supporting young people transitioning out of care.

“Supporting young people to receive services that are culturally sensitive and working with them one-on-one to engage with education, training and employment opportunities, has the potential to significantly improve their life outcomes,” Minister McGurk said.

The findings of the Trial will be available to state and territory governments to guide future interventions for young people.