Calls to increase foster care age in Vic
Youths in foster care should stay in the system an extra three years until they turn 21, says a lobby group calling for both sides of politics to take it to the Victorian election.
The Home Stretch wants both major parties to promise if elected in November to give youths the option to remain in foster care until they are 21, joining Tasmania and South Australia.
Supporters gathered at the State Library of Victoria on Tuesday to kick off the call to action.
Ambassador Dylan Langley, who moved into 20 different state care homes between the ages of 12 to 18, said it was important youth have “a chance to find a place to get settled into life” rather than being kicked out of home on their 18th birthday.
“You are expected to know everything. Everyone needs that chance to work and to understand what it means to be an adult,” the 24-year-old told AAP.
“Coming from a care background, your life mostly starts when support disappears.”
He said trying to solve where to live becomes all-consuming for kids in care, causing them to lose focus on studies and work.
About 76 per cent of Victorians support extending foster care age while 71 per cent believe it will prevent homelessness, unemployment and reliance on social services, according to a ReachTEL done in May of 1036 people.
“This is a simple, proven reform that has enormous potential to change the lives of our state’s most vulnerable young people for the better,” Home Stretch chair Paul McDonald said in a statement.