Everyone needs a Leaving Care Plan – no matter how much you think you have the independence thing covered. But you know what? 65% of young people don’t have one which isn’t great. Having a Leaving Care Plan is the law. In the perfect world, having a plan should help you to be 100% prepared when you move out of care and into independence, but moving out can also happen really quickly – sometimes overnight. If you have a plan then you can be confident that you know how to go about finding somewhere to live so you won’t have to couch surf with friends, you might have some basic cooking and budgeting skills or you might find out how to get into TAFE or uni. Basically you’ll have some general tools for success so you don’t freak out!
Why do I need a Plan?
When Cathy Freeman decided she wanted to win a gold medal at the Olympics she had a training plan and people to help her out. When a person wants to start up their own successful business they have a business plan. Having a plan for your future is the same. You want to have one to help you be as prepared as possible for living independently. You will know what you need to do, when you need to do it and who will help you and how you can do it. Just think of it as your own personal step by step guide to independence – you can even tick things off as you go!
If you are over 15 years old you should start thinking about putting together your Leaving Care Plan. Think about where you might like to live, if you want to go to TAFE or uni when you finish school and how you think you will support yourself financially. These are all important things you will need to consider so why not get started now?
Who can help?
This can be different for everyone. Generally it’s your case worker or resi care worker, but even your foster carer can help if you are in foster care placement. After care services can also be a great support – but sometimes there are waiting lists, so it’s important to know what service can help you and how long you may have to wait. This way you will know the best time to get on the list so that you have help for when you are ready to transition – it may even be when you turn 15 and start your leaving care plan. See the contact info page for After Care contacts in your state or territory.
Want more information?
Call us at CREATE Foundation in your state or territory on 1800 655 105