Historic win for Home Stretch campaign!
It's rare that we have the opportunity to celebrate massive legislative milestones but this week we can as Home Stretch, the campaign calling to raise the age that young people could stay in out-of-home care from 18 to 21 and have a supported transition out of care, will become enshrined in Victorian legislation.
As the former Campaign Director of the Home Stretch campaign, I had the honour of working alongside young people with a care experience to advocate for this long-overdue reform. Together we spoke with MPs, united the child and family services sector, and achieved something phenomenal.
Our message was simple: young people, especially young people with a care experience, deserve to be supported for longer. Now it won't be an anxious countdown to being cut off of support at age 18. It'll mean a supported transition to connect with further education, employment, and stable housing.
The Victorian Government will introduce amendments to the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 to require in law that young people leaving care are paid an allowance to assist their transition to adulthood. In January this year, Victoria was the first jurisdiction to extend Home Stretch to all young people leaving foster, kinship and residential care up to the age of 21. Further, the Government has also invested $64.7 million over four years plus ongoing funding at the November state budget.
A sincere and heartfelt thank you to everyone who supported Home Stretch. Truly history in the making.