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Income support receipt for young people transitioning from out-of-home care

Welfare recipients Income support Foster care Out-of-home care Australia

Children who are, or have been, in OOHC face greater vulnerability across several dimensions of their wellbeing, both during and after they leave care. This may reflect the significant life disruptions that led to their placement in care, wider exposure to disadvantage, or experiences during their time in OOHC. However, it is important to note that a sense of security, stability and social support are strongly associated with better long-term outcomes after leaving care—as such, a young person’s experiences in OOHC can influence their long-term trajectory after leaving a traumatic environment (FaHCSIA 2011).

Reliable national data on outcomes and broader service use of young people who have been in OOHC as they transition out of care and into independence is currently lacking. This national report aims to build the evidence-base on transition outcomes by bringing together Australian Government (Centrelink) and state and territory (OOHC) administrative data to examine receipt of income support and other payments by these young people. The type of financial assistance a person receives often reflects their life circumstances at the time of receipt. It can indicate, for example, those who require support while pursuing higher education, those looking for work or unable to work due to disability or caring responsibilities, or those experiencing personal crises such as family violence or contact with the justice system.

Young people may be particularly vulnerable in the time after they leave care, as they adjust to independent living, often with limited support networks. Studies such as this one can help build a picture of their service use and life circumstances leading up to and after leaving care. These insights can be used to inform better policy, practice and support services for their transition out of care and into independence.

Related Information

Income support receipt for young people transitioning from out–of–home care 2022

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