The Home Stretch is an Australia- wide campaign advocating for young people in state care to have the option of staying in out-of-home care until they are 21 years old. International studies have shown that extending care can dramatically improve outcomes for young people in care. Currently, many of this group become homeless, involved with the criminal justice system, unemployed or a new parent within the first 12 months after care is withdrawn at 18 years.
Supporting The Home Stretch campaign has been a key part of Anglicare Victoria’s advocacy role over the past five years. With the support of the Anglicare Victoria Board, our Chief Executive Officer has chaired the national campaign which has been funded by generous philanthropic grants.
AV wants to provide the best possible care, and wants the young people we work with to have the best possible chance in life. That is why advocacy continues to be a key part of our work.
Why is The Home Stretch needed?
For far too long we’ve been witnessing poor outcomes for kids being required to leave the care system on or before 18 years. This approach is not consistent with parenting that is seeing most young people remain home well into their 20’s. International research, where care is extended until the age of 21 shows that education participation doubles and homelessness rates are halved.
What has The Home Stretch campaign achieved so far?
VIC – Trialling extend care to 21 years for 250 young people over five years.
NSW – Still considering reform
WA – Trialling extended care to 21 years (foster, kinship and residential care)
SA – Extending care to 21 years (foster and kinship)
ACT – Extending care to 21 years 2017 – policy review underway
QLD – Extended care to 19 years (foster & kinship)
TAS – Extending care to 21 years (foster & kinship)
NT – Still considering reform