Supporting young people
Young people in out-of-home care (OOHC) need support and guidance as they move towards adulthood and transition to independence.
Under legislation, OOHC service providers must develop a leaving care plan for every young person aged 15 years or over. The provider works with the young person, their carer and significant others to develop a comprehensive, person-centred plan. This will help young people build towards their long-term goals and aspirations.
The Permanency Support Program also requires service providers to support young people until they reach 25 years to help them achieve a successful transition to adulthood.
All leaving care plans should be consistent with the Australian Government’s approach to transitioning from out-of-home care to independence. They should also meet the NSW child safe standards for permanent care.
Leaving care plans should:
- focus on preparing young people for adulthood and help them identify their future goals
- meet the specific needs and goals of each young person
- be flexible enough to change as a young person’s circumstances and goals change.
Permanency Support Program specialist packages
The Permanency Support Program funds two specialist packages for service providers to give extra support to young people aged 15 up to 18 years.
The 15+ Years Old Reconnect Package helps practitioners to provide additional support for young people who have limited or no family connection whilst in care to support reconnection.
The Leaving Care Package helps practitioners to spend extra time with young people to develop and ‘make real’ their leaving care plans.
Under the Leaving Care package, practitioners can:
- dedicate time to develop the leaving care plan with a young person
- access staff support and supervision for the planning process
- identify what services to broker (buy) as part of the planning
- help young people connect with universal services and support, such as joining a local youth group, accessing tutoring and learning to drive.
Supporting young people for longer
Leaving care plans should identify any supports needed to assist the young person transition to independence until the age of 25 years. Support can include advocacy, advice or help to connect to other services.
If a young person aged from 18 up to 25 years needs to access any specialist aftercare services, funding is available through non-Permanency Support Program programs.
For young people:
For foster, relative and kinship carers:
- Helping a young person prepare for leaving care
- Caring for kids
- Leading the way
- Raising tweens and teenagers
- Raising Them Strong
- Key elements of a leaving care plan