After care is a term used to describe a variety of services and supports that may be available to young people between the ages of 15 and 25 years after they formally leave care. The types of after care assistance may include information and advice about other government or non-government agencies which can help with family searching, family mediation and family reunion services. Referral and financial assistance for finding accommodation, education or vocational training, counselling, employment, legal advice, health services or professional services, and help with viewing their file and accessing personal documentation.
During this time young people can feel vulnerable, lonely, depressed as well as settled and hopeful. Some of the experiences of young people at this time are illustrated on the right.
After I left care I got pregnant. My ex-boyfriend was violent and my baby was removed.I do what I need to do to get by.I did a mechanic apprenticeship and my Leaving Care plan helped pay for TAFE.I have studied courses. Now I want a job but no one will give me a chance.I’m pregnant. We have no income. I am really worried.
Inadequate living skills to live independently
Don’t know who to contact to get help
Not aware of what services are available or how to access them
Higher support needs due to past trauma
Cannot remember what is in their Leaving Care Plan
Unsure of what is remaining in their financial entitlements
Unless the young person is considered high risk usually no caseworker is allocated post care
Problematic to change content of plan once closed
Re-approval is required to spend entitlements listed in the Leaving Care Plan
Difficult to get financial approval for things that aren’t in the approved plan
Things that will help
Continued access to living skills development support tools e.g. videos
Access to information about available referral services for housing support, education & training, welfare, mental health, counselling supports etc
Ability to view and download their Life Story work and important documents such as birth certificates
Digital access to their leaving care plan
Ability to view a running balance of their leaving care entitlements funds
Easy to share referral service information with young people
Reassuring to know young people can access their leaving care plan (Life Plan) and information and referral services through YOU
More efficient approval process for financial help
Supporting ChildStory tools
The following tools can be used by young people and workers to support young people after they leave care.