In great news for young people in foster, kinship and residential care in New South Wales, Uniting will become the first service provider in the state to offer support until the age of 21.
NSW state government funding currently ends when the young person in care turns 18.
Uniting in NSW will spend close to $8 million over the next five years to extend this care for another three years.
These young people are often highly vulnerable, with experience of abuse, trauma, loss and intergenerational disadvantage.
Even if their carers want to continue supporting them, a lack of financial and practical assistance can make that difficult.
Here at Uniting Vic.Tas, we have worked both independently and with other organisations through the sector wide Home Stretch campaign to advocate for extended care for young people in Victoria and Tasmania.
In 2018 both state governments committed to funding young people in care until the age of 21.
This has made a big difference to the lives of these young people, reducing their vulnerability to homelessness, poverty, unemployment and mental health issues.
The option to remain in care opens opportunities for these young people to finish school, participate in further education and develop the skills they need for adult life in a safe and supportive environment.
Uniting in NSW will join Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia in moving towards a better system of care for young people.