The Housing Pathways and Experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Youth as They Transition from Out-of-Home Care in Victoria and Western Australia

Jasmin Jau, Philip Mendes, Jacinta Chavulak, Robyn Martin

It is well established that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people are over-represented in Australian child protection and out-of-home care systems. Despite this, there has been limited analysis of their exit from care pathways. This study, based on interviews with 10 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth from Victoria and Western Australia (who were a sub-set of a larger study of 34 care leavers), examined their transition experiences and outcomes in relation to accessing stable and affordable housing. While all care leavers spoke of poor or non-existent transition planning, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participants were more likely to report incidences of homelessness and more complex experiences in a range of areas. Importantly, the group identified a need for culturally appropriate service models which built on and enhanced cultural and kinship connections.

International Journal on Child Maltreatment