Leaving care

What is Leaving Care?Young people sitting

Leaving Care refers to a range of services and supports to assist young people aged 16 to 21 years of age to transition from out-of-home care to independent living and adulthood.

Who can access Leaving Care?

Every year approximately 500 young people 16 to 18 years of age have their Care by Secretary Order or Long Term Care Order cease under the Children Youth and Families Act 2005 (section 16) and transition from out-of-home care into adult independence.

From 15 years of age and above, young people in out-of-home care will participate in the development of a Care and Transition plan. The plan will include what supports the young person needs to help them transition successfully into independence.

For more information, refer to the Leaving Care page of the Child Protection Manual.

Where can I get more information about Leaving Care?

A young person who is leaving out-of-home care in Victoria can call the Leaving Care Hotline to speak to someone for advice or for a referral to a range of support services.

The Leaving Care Hotline can provide young people with information about:

  • finding accommodation or staying in existing accommodation
  • staying in education or returning to studying
  • looking for a job, or applying for on the job (vocational) training
  • keeping a current job
  • re-connecting with family
  • financial help to maintain independence, if the young person has already left state care
  • linking with other support services

Leaving Care Hot Line

The Leaving Care Hotline is managed by Melbourne City Mission’s Frontyard service and connects young people to their nearest post-care support program or assists with immediate issues including crisis accommodation. Young people, carers, families or workers are able to contact the Leaving Care Hotline from 10am-8pm weekdays; 10am-6pm weekends and public holidays.

Contact

Ph: 1300 532 846
email: leavingcare@mcm.org.au

Please note the new email address.

Find a service

Visit the Leaving Care - Find a Service page to find the service provider that suits your needs.

SORTLI

SORTLI is a play on the phrase ‘sort out your life’.

SORTLI is a fun, informative and easy-to-navigate, free mobile app for young people to help them with their transition to independence.

Go Your Own Way Info Kit

The Go Your Own Way Info Kit is a resource for young people aged 15 years and above who are starting to plan for their transition to adulthood and independence. The kit is filled with resources and information to assist the planning process and provide caseworkers, young people and carers with the information they need to plan for a successful transition.

What supports are available?

Post Care Support, Referral and Information Services

Post Care Support, Referral and Information Services support young people aged 16 to 20 years who require assistance in their transition to independence once their Care by Secretary Order or Long Term Care Order expires for the final time.

To access this service phone the Leaving Care Hot Line.

Mentoring Services

Young people receive support from a case worker, mentoring, as well as access to brokerage money for items relating to accommodation, recreation, education and health.

To access this service, contact a Leaving Care provider or phone the Leaving Care Hot Line.

Young People Leaving Care Housing and Support Initiative

Young People Leaving Care Housing and Support Initiative is a DHHS housing program that provides support for young people transitioning from out-of-home care who are at risk of homelessness, with nomination rights to a limited number of transitional housing places. The target group is young people on Care by Secretary Order or Long Term Care Order in out-of-home care at risk of homelessness at cessation of their orders.

Referrals to this service are made by the Placement Coordinator in each DHHS Local Area, or phone the Leaving Care Hot Line.

The Young People Transitioning from Care Initiative

The Young People Transitioning from Care Initiative is a joint project between the Department of Education and Training and the Department of Health and Human Services. The initiative waives tuition fees for young people who are in out-of-home care, or who are transitioning from out-of-home care.

Eligible students who are less than 22 years of age as at 1 January in the year of first commencing education and training can enrol in accredited training, including the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL), Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE), Certificate I - IV, Diploma or Advanced Diploma courses and/or units of accredited training that allow the young person to be issued with a statement of attainment.

To find out more, go to the Fee waivers and exemptions page of the Victorian government Education and Training website.

Springboard

Springboard is an intensive education and employment support for young people leaving residential care. The service is available in all DHHS divisions and provides intensive one-on-one support to young people who are disengaged from education, training or employment.

Leaving Care Brokerage

Leaving Care Brokerage provides flexible support funding for young people 16 to 18 years of age transitioning from out-of-home care, and those young people up to 20 years of age who need support after leaving out of home care.

To access this service, phone the Leaving Care Hotline.

Transition to Independent Living Allowance

The Transition to Independent Living Allowance (TILA) is a payment of up to $1500 to help eligible young people cover some basic costs as they leave out-of-home care.

Young people between 15 to 25 years of age who are leaving or have already left formal out-of-home care may be eligible for the TILA. TILA is also for young people who continue to live with their foster carers after their care order expires.

The payment may be used to buy items such as a fridge or couch, pay for counselling, education and training courses, medical expenses, a drivers licence or any other items or services agreed between the young person and their case worker (within TILA eligibility guidelines).

For more information about this service, phone the Leaving Care Hotline.

Aboriginal Leaving Care

Aboriginal Leaving Care aims to provide culturally appropriate support for Aboriginal young people transitioning from out-of-home care, including kinship care from 16 to 21 years of age.

The service has flexibility to respond to exceptional circumstances where Aboriginal young people:

  • require support to transition from kinship care arrangements and they are not subject to an order
  • are outside the 16-21 years age range and are no longer involved with Child Protection, but still require assistance.

For more information about this service phone the Leaving Care Hotline.

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