DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITIES
— YOUNG PEOPLE LEAVING CARE
1562. Hon NICK GOIRAN to the Leader of the House representing
the Minister for Child Protection:
I refer to the WA Auditor General's
''Young People Leaving Care'' report of August 2018, in which it
was noted —
The Department did not ensure that
young people knew they were entitled to further support after they left its
(1) Has any work been undertaken to
(2) If yes to (1), what measures are
now in place?
(3) How many young people left care
in the 2018–19 reporting period?
I thank the honourable member for
some notice of the question. I note that it is a long answer because the member
asked what work has been undertaken, and a lot has been undertaken.
the conclusion of the audit, the Department of Communities established a steering
committee for young people leaving care and a working group to design and pilot
a revised leaving care approach and to manage the implementation of the Office
of the Auditor General's recommendations. The steering committee developed
a model of service to address the needs of young people preparing to leave
care. A pilot of the new service model will
officially commence early in 2020 and will be trialled over a 12-month
period and evaluated against the recommendations of the Auditor General's
report. Pilot sites will recruit and establish leaving care teams. The
dedicated leaving care team model will focus on early engagement, planning and ongoing support for young people
transitioning from care. The model will provide a place-based response
and enable a level of consistency so that, regardless of where a young person
presents for services, they can expect to receive a similar response.
The Department of Communities has a number
of measures in place to ensure that young people transitioning to independence are provided with information and support.
Young people in care are provided with information about time in care,
leaving care services and financial entitlements. The Home Stretch trial
currently underway is testing a model of enhanced access to supports and
services for young people transitioning from out-of-home care, providing them
with additional support and resources from 18 years of age to when they turn 21
years of age. The trial will improve care leavers' access to housing,
health, education, training and employment through the provision of one-on-one
Foundations Sortli—which stands for ''sort out your life''—is
a mobile app that provides information to
support the transition of young people in care to independence and adulthood.
The Create Go Your Own Way kit is distributed annually across Department
of Communities districts to each young person turning 16 years of age, and
includes a planning resource for young people transitioning to independent
(3) In 2018–19, 731 children and young people
left care. Of those children, 195 aged out of care by turning 18; 397
were reunified with family; and the remaining children left care to be adopted,
transferred to a special guardianship order, or for other reasons such as
moving interstate or self-selecting to live with relatives.