Keep caring: Systemic inquiry into services for young people transitioning from out-of-home care

Commission for Children and Young People

To have the best possible chance at a good life, young people in care often need extra help to discover their aspirations, hone their talents and plan for their future, with the support of their carers and community. When young people leave care, they need a stable home, a means of supporting themselves through work, study or training and access to the services they may need to address trauma or poor mental health.

Aboriginal care leavers also need extra support to build or maintain an enduring connection to culture and culturally safe services.

With young people at the centre, this inquiry examines the needs and aspirations of young people leaving care and the capacity of the service system to respond to those needs and aspirations.

This study found the out-of-home care system is not doing enough to help young people plan and prepare for their transition to independence. Unlike the overwhelming majority of their peers, young people leaving care face a significant withdrawal of support, leaving many homeless, unemployed and disengaged from learning, mental health supports and culture.

This report makes 15 recommendation to enhance the service system’s capacity to improve the experiences and life outcomes for young people transitioning from care by responding to their needs, challenges and aspirations.