Young people living in residential out-of-home care (OOHC) comprise a small proportion of the total Australian OOHC population, but are known to be a particularly vulnerable group. Those transitioning from residential care at 18 years or younger seem to have poorer outcomes than those leaving foster care and kinship care. The recent introduction of forms of extended care until 21 years in most Australian jurisdictions has highlighted the need for additional assistance for all care leavers, yet paradoxically residential care leavers currently receive the least ongoing support. This critical commentary draws on recent relevant research findings and policy developments with regard to extended care locally and internationally. It presents the case for the concept of extended care to be adopted, via a nationally consistent model of extended care support for all residential care leavers incorporating formal housing and other support programs.
- care leavers
- extended care
- Residential care
- transitioning from out-of-home care