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.

The two day program will be a mix of keynote presentations, panel sessions, Q&A and a workshop session. The program has been structured to engage the audience and provide an opportunity for an informed discussion.

The program will include:

  • A focus on young people and carer’s perspectives on care past 18 years
  • A closer look at implementation and evaluation of extended care in the US and UK
  • The legislative and policy developments in New Zealand
  • Policy progress in extending care by governments in Australia
  • The challenges, enablers and experience of implementation
  • The social and economic costs and benefits in the Australian context
  • The different methods used to evaluate Extended Care and how to develop a robust evaluation.

Day 1: Tuesday 27th August

Welcome TBC
Setting the scene
This presentation with track the emergence of the Extended Care Movement in Australia. Paul Mc Donald, Home Stretch
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 International Experience
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
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
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
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
The session provide an understanding of the impact of extending care to 21 years on foster carers’. TBC
This presentation will identify the triggers, enablers, and challenges to extending care to 21, internationally.Iain Matheson, Massey University, Research Centre for Better Outcomes

Day 2: Wednesday 28th August

Welcome to Day Two
Mastermind Session.
Q & A Session with a diverse and expert panel. This session will address the questions from the participants and any issues raised the previous day.
Panel of national and international experts
The Economics of Extending Care in Australia. This session will showcase the recent work relating to the economics of extending care.Lynne Pezzullo, Deloitte Access Economics
The significant 'Staying Put' Evaluation in the United Kingdom influenced legislative amendment to allow young people to remain in care until 21 years. This session will explore the outcomes and methodologies for a robust evaluation and what Governments require. Emily Munro, University of Bedfordshire. United Kingdom
Participants will have the opportunity to discuss and workshop within groups to identify the key points and the barriers relevant to their jurisdiction and identify practical steps in achieving extended care to 21.
Reflection and next stepsPaul McDonald, Chair Home Stretch.

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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