Queensland commits to life-changing reform for young people in state care
Saturday 18 June 2022
The Home Stretch campaign has congratulated Minister Leanne Linard and Premier Palaszczuk on adopting the life-changing reform to extend care to 21 years for those in state care. National Chair Paul McDonald is now calling on the Perrottet Government to stop denying this life-saving, life changing reform for young people in care.
“This legacy decision made by the Queensland government will see demonstrable reductions in homelessness and offending, and equivalent increases in mental wellbeing, as well as employment and education engagement. Everyone wins with this reform,” Mr McDonald said.
“This initiative will be a huge relief for those in state care in Queensland. Research shows that the Home Stretch reform will halve youth homelessness among care leavers, double their odds of getting a job or going on to higher education and cut the odds of them ending up in the justice system. It’s a great result for young people.
“Further, with this decision, we now have seven of Australia’s state and territory governments all with formal extended care policies to 21 years. NSW government is the only government refusing to bring this policy into place for young people in care.”
Mr McDonald said it was now time for the New South Wales government to follow suit and announce the option of extended care to 21 years. They remain alone as the only state not prepared to extend formal support to the young people in state care for three further years.
Research by Deloitte Access Economics showed the following benefits of extending care to the age of 21:
- Every dollar invested paid back at least twice over in future savings
- Homelessness among this group would be halved
- Rates of higher education participation would increase by 2.5 times
- Decreased arrests and hospitalisation
- Alcohol and drug dependence would decrease, from 15.8 per cent to 2.5 per cent
- Reduced costs of delivering additional government services
- Improved mental and physical health outcomes, reduced intergenerational disadvantage and an increase in social connectedness.
“Extending care to the age of 21 can be the difference between surviving and thriving for those in the child protection system,” Mr McDonald said.
More information about extending care for young people can be found on the Home Stretch website.
For further enquiries contact Sarah Baird of Anglicare Victoria on 0419 035 117 or firstname.lastname@example.org