Stand by me - Flexible and holistic support for young care leavers: smoothing transitions from care

Jade Purtell, Philip Mendes

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Young people placed in out-of-home care (OHC) through Child Protection in Victoria are formally discharged by the expiration of their care order at the age of 18 years or younger. In contrast, young people generally in Australia live in their family home with parents or carers well into their 20s. Whilst there are a range of leaving care and post care services funded for care leavers, these supports tend to be temporary and discretionary in contrast to the ongoing support young people receive whilst in care, or in some cases from family and social networks post-care. Numerous studies have documented the developmental challenges experienced by young people leaving state care, and the often poor outcomes faced by this group. The Stand By Me program was developed in Victoria to replicate the ongoing support provided in the UK to care leavers by Personal Advisers who remain available to assist young people until 21 years of age. Evaluation of the SBM program has shown that ongoing, holistic support including housing support has assisted 12 young people through the SBM pilot to access stable housing, address many multiple and complex issues, and form trusting relationships with SBM workers that contribute to positive outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-213
Number of pages6
JournalChildren Australia
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2016

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