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Better Futures and Home Stretch

The 2021-22 Victorian State Budget included investment of $38.9 million over the next four years and $13.8 million ongoing so that young people on permanent care orders can be supported via Better Futures from 15 years and 9 months and Home Stretch from 18 years up until their 21st birthday.

Better Futures aims to engage earlier with young people leaving care, providing individualised supports both in-care and post-care across a range of life areas including housing, health and wellbeing, education, employment, and community and cultural connections.

Better Futures includes:

  • Direct case work support
  • Information and advice
  • Access to flexible funding

Through Home Stretch, young people turning 18 years of age will be able to remain with their carer supported by an allowance, case work and flexible funding. Those who cannot remain with their carer will be supported to transition to other housing options (for example, private rental) supported by an allowance, case work and flexible funding. Only young people in permanent care turning 18 years of age from 1 July 2021 will be eligible.

Home Stretch is delivered via the Better Futures service delivery model and both programs are delivered by community service organisations and Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations across the state.

The expansion of these programs to include young people on permanent care orders will commence with Home Stretch support being available from 1 July 2021 for young people turning 18 years of age. Access to Better Futures for young people from 15 years and 9 months will follow later in 2021.

PCA Families are working closely with the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH) on the expansion, and further details will be provided in the coming weeks regarding access pathways, noting that it is likely that an interim process to connect young people and carers to their local Better Futures provider will be implemented whilst a longer term approach is developed .

The interim process will likely involve needing to prioritise information provision and access to support to young people based on when they are due to turn 18 years of age.  Those turning 18 years of age between July to September 2021 will be the first group to be progressed.

A list of Frequently Asked Questions is being developed and will be made available as soon as possible via the PCA Families website.

Below is a link to current information on the programs:

https://providers.dffh.vic.gov.au/leaving-care

At this stage we are asking people to wait for information to be made available before getting in touch with PCA Families, DFFH or Better Futures providers. Referrals to Home Stretch will be gradually progressed when we have the appropriate processes in place and information available to do this. No eligible young people will miss out on support. We thank everyone for their patience.

PCA Families is currently NOT processing applications. Please call the number of the Better Futures provider as advised in the letter from DFFH. Do not call PCA Families.

 

Lookout Centres

Aligning Career, Education and Leaving Care Planning

The Aligning Career, Education and Leaving Care Planning Practice Guide has been developed to assist Career Practitioners, Designated Teachers and Case managers to understand and align education and leaving care based planning for secondary students in Out-of-Home Care (OOHC) to support post school further education, training and employment.

Click here to read the guide