There are approximately 18,000 young people in foster care in NSW, and about 1100 of these leave care annually. A Leaving Care Plan is something which should be started by a caseworker when a young person reaches the age of about 15.
The plan prepares the young person for being an adult. It alerts them to adult ideas such as budgeting, education pathways, health supports, learning to drive, setting up a house, and how to cook basic food. Many of these young people leave care between 16 and 18 without any family support and have to manage things on their own. A Leaving Care Plan may help them prepare for this step into adulthood.
A study by the CREATE Foundation shows that:
- only 18% of young people leaving care get a Leaving Care Plan (LCP),
- 35% of young people are homeless in the first year they leave care
These young people are not getting vital support and information which can direct them to better social outcomes.
The legislation says the Minister is supposed to ensure that all young people are getting their LCP- however this is not happening.
Jan Barham has spoken in Parliament on this issue and currently has a Motion on the Notice Paper in Parliament about the importance of supporting these young people. Jan also has a campaign to raise awareness about this vulnerable group of people in our society.
Go to:Leaving Care Plan petition to download the petition.Get it filled in and send it back to us at:
Jan Barham MLC
Legislative Council, Parliament House
Macquarie Street, SYDNEY 2OOO
Ph: 02 9230 2204 Fax: 02 9230 2766
LEAVING CARE KIT
Recently Jan was presented with a Transitioning from Care Kit by the National Youth Advisory Council (NYAC) delegates Kimberly and Chris, and CREATE Foundation representative, Bianca Edwards. This kit will be shown to MPs to gain their support for a Motion that has been placed on the Notice Paper to seek a stronger commitment from the Government to fulfil its obligations to provide young people with Leaving Care Plans.
CREATE Foundation is the peak body representing the voices of all children and young people in out-of-home care. As an advocate for children and young people in care CREATE ensures that their voices are heard by key decision makers in government and out-of-home care sector stakeholders. CREATE believes that consultation and participation is the cornerstone of good practice and fulfils this commitment through the development and support of NYAC.
NYAC provides a national forum for young people with a care experience to have a voice about issues in the care system, in order to improve the system and the lives of children and young people with a care experience.
CREATE hosts a NYAC summit each year which brings together the NYAC delegates from each state across the country with a focus on developing plans that address key issues impacting on children and young people in care.
One of NYAC and CREATE’s goals is to increase support available to young people and adults who are transitioning from care by developing a Transitioning from Care Kit. These kits include state specific information to enable young people to have access to relevant information and resources. It has been developed in consultation with young people who have a care experience and who understand the need for the resources.
The kit provided has information specific to Queensland as there has been no funding allocation from the NSW government towards these Transitioning from Care Kits. In Queensland the Government has provided a budget allocation of approximately $70,000 for the production and distribution of these kits.
In Budget Estimates Committee, the Minister for Family and Community Services, Pru Goward was asked if NSW would be funding the production and distribution of the kits. The response was:
“While Community Services is aware of the QLD Transitioning From Care Kits they are not being considered in NSW”
The Greens are committed to raising awareness about the importance of supporting young people in their transition from care and a petition is available on the website to provide support for improving the delivery of this important resource. To help with this important campaign download the petition here, or call Ella Buckland on 9230 2204.