Your Choice, Your Future – new aftercare supports for carers
Non-government organisations (NGOs) and the NSW Government work together to support children in out-of-home care.
The NSW Government is offering additional leaving care support for young people transitioning from care to independence until they reach the age of 21 through Your Choice, Your Future.
This is in addition to a range of other programs that support children and young people in out-of-home care. Learn more about the range of programs provided by the NGO sector and NSW Government in this brochure, Delivering a pathway to a brighter future for children and families in NSW PDF, 6943.2 KB.
The following is a summary of the changes included in this package.
Staying on Allowance
We want to support carers to continue providing a safe and stable home for young people after they turn 18, if the young person wishes to stay on. Young people staying with their carer are now eligible for the Staying on Allowance.
This is a fortnightly payment of $544 from the age of 18, $400 at 19 and $250 at 20, payable to the carer. This payment ends when the young person turns 21.
The young person must have been in the parental care of the Minister for more than 12 months when they turned 18, and they must consent to the payment going to their carer.
For more information on eligibility criteria and how to apply, visit the Staying on Allowance page on the DCJ website.
Independent Living Allowance
Young people leaving out-of-home care may be eligible to receive $250 per fortnight until they reach 21 years of age. This payment will help with accommodation and other essential living expenses.
For more information on eligibility criteria and how to apply, visit the Independent Living Allowance page on the DCJ website.
Specialist aftercare program expansion
More young people with complex needs can get the support they need from specialist aftercare services including access to new services such as mentoring. It will also provide additional coverage in regional areas.
The program expansion will begin in July 2023 and will focus on increasing the scope and capacity of existing programs.
More aftercare caseworkers
There is also recruitment of more aftercare staff to provide support for care leavers and administer payments.
Equal access for young care leavers wherever they live
More young people in regional and metropolitan areas will benefit from the expanded aftercare program and additional staff supporting aftercare.
These new supports are now available for young people
Applications for the new allowances open on 1 February with payments to follow shortly afterwards. Young care leavers aged 18, 19 and 20 can now apply. Young people approaching turning 18 should talk to their caseworker about their leaving care or ‘transition’ plan.
Other leaving care supports already available
Young people can talk to their caseworker about what can be included in a leaving care plan. You can also find more information about leaving care supports and services on the leaving care web pages.
Young people you can receive support with training, employment opportunities, living arrangements and housing, as well as planning for the future.
To speak with someone about leaving care supports, contact the DCJ Care Leavers Line at email@example.com
Carers can call the My Forever Family Carer Support Line on 1300 782 975.