Helping Vulnerable Young People Gain Their Independence

The Andrews Labor Government is helping vulnerable young people transition from care to independence through a new pilot program in Geelong.

The 12 month program will help 49 young people aged 16 to 21 get the help they need when they leave care.

The Barwon Better Futures pilot will be delivered over 12 months by Barwon Child, Youth and Family and gives young people greater access to secure housing, employment opportunities and ongoing support.

The expanded pilot places young people at the centre of transition planning and offers varying levels of supports and flexible funding packages.

More than $420,000 in funding will provide tailored support to young people by focusing on their talents and abilities, and helping them realise their plans for their future.

The Brotherhood of St Laurence has developed the model, tools and resources for the program.

A pilot program is already helping young people transition from care to independence in Victoria’s South – Gippsland, Bayside Peninsula and Southern Melbourne – and will run until June 2018. These programs will inform new directions for leaving care in Victoria.

The initiative supports the Labor Government’s landmark $168 million Roadmap for Reform to shift the children and family services system from crisis response to prevention and early intervention.

The Victorian Budget 2017/18 is delivering nearly 2000 extra out-of-home care placements and 100 extra targeted care packages to reduce the number of children and young people living in residential care.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos

“This program has already helped young people in other parts of Victoria transition from care and gain independence – so we’re expanding it.”

“We’re ensuring vulnerable young people in Geelong who are leaving care are given every chance to build their lives and make a positive contribution to their local community.”

Quote attributable to Member for Geelong Christine Couzens

“This program is having a profound impact on the lives of vulnerable young people and the Andrews Labor Government is doing everything it can to help young people in Geelong get the most out of their lives.”

Quote attributable to Barwon Child, Youth and Family Executive Director Client Services Max Broadley

“The pilot will encourage young people to explore their interests and capabilities, strengthen connections in their professional and social relationships, and learn how to actively shape their future.”

Quote attributable to the Brotherhood of St Laurence Executive Director Tony Nicholson

“We are putting young people at the centre of the planning process, giving them the tools they need to harness all the opportunities that are available to them.”