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Beyond 18: The longitudinal study of leaving care

The Beyond 18 study [external link - opens in a new window] seeks to track young people who have left or are about to leave care to better understand the difficulties they face, their life outcomes, and how these young people can be better supported.

The Australian Institute of Family Studies has been commissioned by the Department of Health & Human Services to conduct the study, which is the first of its kind in Victoria.

The results will help the Victorian Government make positive changes for the future care and support of young people leaving care.

Research underway to support young people leaving care

In 2015, more than 200 young people aged 16 to 19 years were asked to take part in a study. The study involves three surveys over two years and it is currently in its second wave.

Carers and caseworkers are also being asked to take part in surveys that seek their perspectives on young people leaving care. These surveys are available online:

Young person survey is now available

The first young person survey is still open for young people who have not yet joined the study:

Please encourage any young person you know who is aged 16 to 19 years and has spent time in foster care, residential care, lead tenant or kinship care placements to complete the survey. The survey takes about 20-30 minutes to complete.

By taking part, a young person will receive a gift card worth $50 when they complete the online survey, as well as an additional card worth $20 if they choose to take part in the optional, follow-up interview.

Wave 2 of the Beyond 18: Survey of Young People has started. This survey is similar to the first one and participants get another $50 gift card for completing it. Please note, participants can only complete the second survey after they receive an email or text from the Australian Institute of Family Studies, providing them with a unique login.

If a young person prefers to do the survey over the phone, in person with an Australian Institute of Family Studies researcher, or on paper, the Beyond 18 team can be contacted to arrange this. (should I provide a direct contact

Do you work in the out-of-home care or leaving care/post care sector?

You can help Beyond 18 by:

  • promoting the study within your team or across your organisation
  • encouraging participation and providing assistance to eligible young people to complete the survey and keep involved with the study
  • encouraging participation of caseworkers and carers in the online survey

This study will use the findings to inform policy and practice in relation to young people's care experience and leaving care preparation.

Further information

To learn more, visit the Beyond 18 website [external link - opens in a new window], or contact:

Stewart Muir
Australian Institute of Family Studies Beyond 18 team
Phone: 1800 352 275
Telephone: 1800 352 275

Meredith Jones
Centre for Evaluation and Research
Department of Health and Human Services
Phone: 03 9096 8485