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Handy Hints about Leaving Care

The young people involved in consultation to develop this website, spoke of some of the areas of their transition to independence where they could identify changes that would improve the leaving care experiences for young people in the future.

If you are a young person approaching your exit from care, keep some of these tips from other young people in mind to discuss with your case worker:

Request to have identification organised 12 months before you are going to leave care, such as:

  • Application for an adult passport.
  • Original birth certificate
  • Medicare card (young people are given the option to have their own Medicare card at 16 years old)
  • 18 plus card
  • Request easy access to original birth certificate at all times (YP expressed that they were told that their birth certificate had been misplaced or inaccessible if their case worker was away/not available).
  • Discuss having ambulance cover funded up until 25 years old in your leaving care plan. (Several YP spoke of having large ambulance bills that they were unable to pay)
  • Request to have your leaving care plan, reviewed at 21 years old. (YP spoke of not knowing what support they were going to need for the next 7 years)
  • Authorisation letter from the CEO & costs for obtaining your drivers license and driving lessons, approved before you turn 16 years old.
  • Request support to open a savings account & starting a savings plan at 16 years old (Direct debit).
  • Request support to have a library card and access to their local library/internet.
  • Request support to be placed on a wait list with the Department of Housing & Works for rental housing at 16yo.

Recommendation
A system is put into place with DH&W, for YP in care be ‘exempt’ from the 17yo age restriction which is currently in place for rental housing applications.

Recommendation
A system is put in place with the Department of Planning & Infrastructure for young people in care to have all associated costs prepaid & authorisation documents standardised across all licensing centres.

Recommendation
All young people in care are registered with their local library, ensuring they have internet access.