Young people transitioning from out-of-home care: What are the lessons from extended care programs in the USA and England for Australia?

Philip Mendes, Justin Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Young people transitioning from out-of-home care (generally called care leavers) are recognized globally as a vulnerable group. In the last 18 months, four Australian jurisdictions have extended state care till 21 years in an attempt to advance the life opportunities of this cohort. These initiatives are strongly influenced by extended care programs in the USA and England which have reported improved outcomes for care leavers. This article interrogates formal public evaluations of these extended care programs with a particular focus on their eligibility criteria that has determined which groups of care leavers are included or alternatively excluded and the identified strengths and limitations of the programs. Additionally, we consider cross-cultural differences in leaving care populations and variations within the broader social policy context of these jurisdictions which may also impact on the effectiveness of policy transfer. Some conclusions are drawn about key factors that may enhance the success of extended care programs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1513-1530
Number of pages18
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

Cite this