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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.

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.

 

Contacting PCA Families to progress eligibility

 
PCA Families will process eligibility for Better Futures and Home Stretch from 18 October 2021. Young people who have turned 18 years of age from 1 October 2021 will be the first group to be progressed. We will then be working through the age groups who turned 18 years month by month.

This is a new program for DFFH and PCA Families and we are continuing to work through the processes and issues that will emerge as we progress young peoples’ eligibility for the programs. No eligible young person will miss out on support and we ask for peoples’ patience in the coming months. We have dedicated staff working on the program and they will get to your application. At this point we can’t provide approximate timeframes, but would again assure people those who are eligible will gain access.

PCA Families will contact you to begin the process of progressing eligibility. If you need to contact us or make any follow-up inquiries, contact us on the PCA Families helpline 03 9020 1833 and select option 3 for Better Futures and Home Stretch.

If a young person turned 18 years of age between 1 July and 30 September 2021, you will have received a letter from DFFH providing the details, including contact details, for the Better Futures and Home Stretch provider for your region. Please contact the provider on that letter as PCA Families are not able to process eligibility for this group of young people.

If you aren’t able to contact us by phone, please email us at the PCA Families Better Futures and Home Stretch email at  and we will aim to get in contact with you, again asking for your patience.

For more information on the programs, please visit: https://providers.dffh.vic.gov.au/leaving-care

PCA Families contact for Home Stretch and Better Futures is:
T:  03 9020 1833 - choose option 3
E:   

 

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