Campaign for care
Join us in the push to raise the age our most vulnerable young people are supported to from 18 to 21.
SUPPORTING young people in care until they turn 21 will halve homelessness, triple education participation and reduce alcohol and drug dependency, says Anglicare WA Services director Mark Glasson.
Mr Glasson is leading the WA campaign for Home Stretch, a national initiative calling on all state governments to change legislation to protect children in State care for longer.
“What we know is that people who have been in State care with traumatised backgrounds are not equipped to live independently,” he said.
“The bottom line is the State (Government) has made the decision these young people need to be in care outside the family.
“The system of services needs to be different, to empower and support them so they can make wise decisions. They need help with education, accommodation, mental health and income support.”
St Vincent de Paul Society chief executive Susan Rooney said providing three more years of care had proved successful in the UK, US, NZ and Canada.
Ms Rooney said at least 30 per cent of young people who accessed support at Vinnies' Passages hub left State care early or had been ‘exited’ to homelessness.
She said if the Government did not take care of these young people now, it would cost the community more in the long term.
“If we have an option for young people to be supported in the right way, there would be less homeless people in the state,” she said.
“We know 50 per cent of long-term homeless people have been homeless as a young person.”
Mark Glasson from Anglicare WA and Susan Rooney from Vinnies WA.