Extended support trial
THE State Government is set to trial Home Stretch in several areas for at least six months.
Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk told Community News last week service teams would be placed in districts to support children in care to the age of 21.
“I’m committing to working with Anglicare WA as the lead agency to trial how Home Stretch could work in WA and then follow the results of that trial,” she said.
“The (Children and Community Services) Act gives us the capacity to do that trial.”
Tasmania, SA and Victoria State governments have committed to investigating a change in legislation to provide formal care until the age of 21.
In August, the Auditor General released a report into the Department of Communities’ success in helping young people move out of care to independent living.
The report showed support to young people leaving care made a positive difference but there was not enough of it.
“When a young person in the care of the State turns 18, we cannot turn our back on them – to date we haven’t done enough and we can do better,” Ms McGurk said.
The Fremantle MLA is urging West Australians to consider becoming respite, emergency or full-time foster carers. There are more than 3000 registered foster carers and 5000 children in State care.
“The feedback I get from foster carers is they get back more than they put in,” Ms McGurk said.