Were you in care and are now 18 or over and looking for support?
In each state and territory across Australia there are post care services to help and support you with your transition from care.
Support is available to you when you turn 18 and transition to adulthood after 1 July 2023. This support will be available up until your 21st birthday. New Extended Post Care Support services will work directly with you to provide culturally appropriate, proactive and practical support, such as finding a safe and affordable place to live, applying for a job or enrolling in a training course, maintaining connections with family, culture, country and community, and taking you to appointments to meet your health and wellbeing needs.
If you leave care to live in your own arrangements as an independent adult, you’ll be eligible to receive financial assistance of up to $16,000 a year until your 21st birthday to help meet your everyday living costs. Talk to your Child Safety Officer about Extended Post Care Support. If you turn 19 from 1 July 2023, and you continue living in your former carer or guardian’s household, they will continue to receive the fortnightly care allowance so they can support you until your 21st birthday. If you turn 18, 19 or 20 before 1 July 2023, you will not be eligible to access Extended Post Care Support, but there are other existing support programs available.
Next Step Plus
This free service provides care leavers aged between 15 – 25 years extra support and assistance. Next Step Plus can get in touch with people who will try and help you sort out the things you’re having trouble with, no matter how big or small.
Youth Housing and Reintegration Service Supports Young people aged 12 to 21 who:
- Have exited or are exiting from care after being subject to a child protection order, or
- Are transitioning to the community following a period of sentence or remand in a Youth Detention Centre, and/or
- Have been ‘sleeping rough’ or living in unstable, temporary or inadequate housing.
- You can chat to YHARS accommodation if you are aged between 15 to 21 and have been assessed as suitable and capable of semi-independent living, eligible for or in receipt of an independent income and eligible for social housing assistance.
New South Wales
Even if you have turned 18 and have formally left care, you can still approach your agency or DCJ for ongoing support and advice:
FACS Care Leavers Line
You can also contact any of these services below:
Phone: 131 819 or Visit: www.familyspirit.org/our-services/leaving-careafter-care-for-young-people/
Phone: (02) 9281 7933
Uniting After Care Services – Burnside and ACE
Phone: 1800 864 846 or email: ACEAfterCare@uniting.org
Aboriginal Aftercare State-wide Service (AASS)
Phone: 1800 864 846
Catholic Care (Hunter/Manning)
Phone: (02) 4979 1120
Relationships Australia (NSW) Aftercare Resource Centre (ARC)
Phone: 1300 364 277
Wesley Dalmar Child and Family Care – Aftercare services
Phone: Penrith (02) 4723 9288
Care Leavers of Australia Network (CLAN)
Is a support group for people over 25 who were in orphanages, children’s homes or foster care:
Phone: 1800 008 774 (Free Call)
Melbourne City Mission Leaving Care Hotline allows you to talk to someone for help, support and referral to services between 9 am to 8 pm weekdays and 10 am to 6 pm on weekends and public holidays.
Provides flexible and tailored support as you transition from out of home care to independence. The Better Futures service providers, formerly known as Leaving Care service providers, list includes contact details of community service organisations and Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations providing Better Futures and Home Stretch services. Search in your closest Better Future Service Provider by town or suburb:
Through Home Stretch you can stay with your kinship, foster or permanent carer until you turn 21 years of age if your carer agrees. Your carer can get an allowance to help support you.
ACTTogether supports young people up to 25 years who have been in out of home care.
p: (02) 6110 2200
After Care Service Moving on – Anglicare NT is an after care support and brokerage service for young people who have left the care of the CEO of Territory Families. The service is aimed at young people 16-25 years needing assistance to maintain independence. The service operates Northern Territory wide with workers based in Darwin and Alice Springs.
Post Care Support Service at Elm Place, delivered by Relationships Australia social work program. It is a free service for adults who were in state or OOHC and provides information, advocacy, referral and support services.
SA Ground Floor, 191 Flinders Street Adelaide SA 5000
Leaving Care Services Leaving Care services are free, voluntary and can support you with what you want help with. You can be linked in from 14 or 15 (depending on the service) to 25 years old.
|My Place||Wanslea South Rockingham and Mandurah areas||(08) 9245 2441|
|Navig8||Mission Australia Bunbury and South West||(08) 9791 4140|
|TSS||Salvation Army Perth Metro and all regional areas not covered by Navig8 or My Place||P: (08) 9328 1600 E:firstname.lastname@example.org|
The Aftercare Support Program provides support for people who have been in the care of the state in Tasmania. To find out more:
Phone: 1800 816 057
Transition to Independent Living Allowance (TILA) is a one off payment of up to $1,500 from the Australian Government to help people transition to independence. The payment helps eligible young people cover some basic costs as they leave out-of-home care.
Young people aged between 15 to 25 years who are leaving or have already left formal out-of-home care may be eligible for the TILA. TILA is also for young people who continue to live with their foster carers after their care order expires.
The payment can be used to buy items such as a fridge or couch, pay for counselling, education and training courses, medical expenses, a drivers licence or any other items or services agreed between the young person and their case worker.
Go to www.dss.gov.au/TILA to see the latest information about how to apply for TILA.