Home Stretch: Young people part of design workshops

Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk
Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk

YOUNG people with experience in State Care were part of three workshops to determine how a Home Stretch model in WA would look.

The Home Stretch trial will determine outcomes of supporting young people in State Care until the age of 21, rather than 18.

The workshops, held in November and December, also involved community sector representatives from the Home Stretch Committee, including Anglicare WA, leaving care providers, peak bodies and policy and operations staff from the Department of Communities.

Anglicare WA Services director Philippa Boldy said, importantly, young people with a lived experience of State Care were involved to ensure that the needs of young people remained central to the design process.

“The workshop process produced a proposed model for a trial Home Stretch program,” she said.

“We are now waiting for confirmation from the State Government about how the trial will be rolled out.”

Children in State care are largely left to fend for themselves once they turn 18, making them our most vulnerable young people.

Community News is supporting Home Stretch, a national campaign urging all state governments to change legislation to support them until they are 21.

Here’s how YOU can help:

1. Join the Home Stretch campaign at: thehomestretch.org.au

2. Sign up to be a foster carer at: www.dcp.wa.gov.au

Child Protection minister Simone McGurk said the trial would be “flexible” and involve about 20 young people.

“We’ll co-design it with those young people so the system is flexible so if it’s not working, we can change tact straight away,” she said.

Ms McGurk said there was a need to support those young people who did not have the voice or capacity to ask for the help they needed.

She said the trial would have three key elements:

  •        One-on-one transition support
  •        A safety net fund for housing, living and education resources
  •        A support circle of friends and mentors

The trial, which will be announced in the next few months, will be funded by the Department of Communities.