“When I decided to go to Uni, my Uniting worker was able to help me find tutoring and stuff like that, so that was pretty good. They paid for it all so it wasn’t any stress on like the people I was living with at that time. The extra support outside of school hours really helped me to complete year 11 and 12 when I was thinking about leaving. I lived in a house with 6 kids so it was that extra time of quiet where I could study and if I had questions I could ask somebody that was a teacher.” – Rebecca, living in kinship care.
In August 2022, Uniting Vic.Tas provided a Submission into the Systemic Inquiry into the Educational Experiences of Children and Young People in OOHC. In putting this Submission together, we had the privilege of hearing directly from young consumers about their experiences of education while living in out-of-home care (OoHC) and the impact a lack of Government investment in therapeutic residential care had upon their schooling outcomes.
“Like I know when I was jumping through the foster care system being put in a different place every night, I’d end up sometimes two or three hours from school and they sometimes wouldn’t take me. They’d be like, no, you can’t go today because you know, we’re not transporting you like there was one time where I was in (redacted) and I was at school in (redacted). It took about four hours to get there and they didn’t wanna do it.” – Paul, living in therapeutic residential care.
“When I left that school, they tried to communicate with the next school for me but the new school didn’t do anything. When I moved, I was doing a special program and they never put through that information or my grades or anything. After I kept moving schools, I was like, I hate school now. It was hard to stay motivated. I know I need to, but I wasn’t learning anything from it.” – Jamie, living in therapeutic residential care.
Every child has the right to an equitable schooling experience, no matter their circumstances. Uniting know that feeling included and connected to education is important to children in OoHC feeling safe and well.