Informing Australian policy development, program implementation and evaluation to extend care to 21.

Tuesday 27 - Wednesday 28 August 2019


About the symposium

It is unquestionably time for Australian governments to address the costly social and economic consequences of terminating care at 18 years. Every year an estimated 3,000 young people leave state care across Australia. Many of these young people experience poor life outcomes: 50% will end up either homeless, in jail or a new parent within the first 12 months of leaving state care. The Home Stretch Symposium will bring together policy developers, stakeholders and implementers to explore and discuss the challenges and complexities associated with introducing the policy of extending care to 21 years. These discussions will be informed by international and national experts in this policy area.

Who should attend:

  • Australian Federal, State and Territory Government representatives with responsibility for Out of Home Care
  • Peak Bodies for Child and Family Welfare
  • Out of Home Care Service Providers
  • Academics with an interest in Out of Home Care

What you’ll learn:

  • What extending care to 21 means for young people and carers
  • The different models being used internationally and nationally
  • The challenges, enablers and experience of implementation
  • Policy progress in extending care by governments in Australia
Find out more


Day 1: Tuesday 27th August

Setting the scene
This presentation with track the emergence of the Extended Care Movement in Australia. Paul Mc Donald, Home Stretch
This session will explore extended care to 21 years in the United States of America 2. The journey of the reform and what the outcomes of the various studies have shown. Professor Mark Courtney, University of Chicago. United States of America
A conversation with a panel of young people will explore the young person’s perspective on extending care to 21.A panel of young people with a lived experience (CREATE Foundation)
The session provide an understanding of the impact of extending care to 21 years on foster carers’. TBC
Leeds City Council in the UK was the first authority to implement the Staying Put trials. This presentation will explore the process of moving from research to policy to practice of extended care. Steve Walker, Leeds City Council. United Kingdom
New Zealand legislated extended care to 21 years, with support to 25 years in 2017. This session will look at the legislation, policy and the recent implementation. Sarah Ashton, Oranga Tamariki. New Zealand
A series of presentations, followed by a Q&A, will outline policy development and implementation of extended care in Australian state and territories. Panel TBC
Full program here

Join the campaign

Every child deserves to be supported into adulthood – extending out of home care until the age of 21 will give thousands of young people the additional guidance they need to have a real shot at life.


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