Better Futures aims to support young people with care experience from 15 years and 9 months until the age of 21. The program is a new approach to engaging with young people and their support networks, including carers, case managers and care teams, early in their transition from care.
Better Futures support workers uses an advantage thinking approach which explores, identifies, recognises and builds on your talents and aspirations, as well as assisting you to overcome challenges whilst working towards your goal of independence.
Your Better Futures worker can support you across a number of different areas including:
- Exploring education and employment opportunities
- Building on independent living skills
- Exploring Housing options
- Creating community connections
- Health & Wellbeing
Eligibility for Better Futures
To be eligible for a referral to Better Futures, a young person must be 15 years and 9 months, be in out-of-home care on a Care by Secretary Order, a Long-Term Care Order or a Family Reunification Order, or be subject to a permanent care order and residing with their permanent carer.
Young people are eligible for support from Better Futures until they reach the age of 21 years.
Child Protection case managers and contracted case managers/Aboriginal Children in Aboriginal Care (ACAC) case managers refer young people to Better Futures. A referral pathway for young people subject to permanent care orders is being developed and further information will be published on this web page when it becomes available.
The Home Stretch program offers the following options to those in the program:
- You and your kinship or foster carer will have the option of you remaining with them up to the age of 21 years with the support of an allowance.
- If leaving residential care, you will be eligible for an allowance to support housing costs up to 21 years of age.
Home Stretch as of 1st July 21 – updated eligibility to include young people on Permanent care orders
Through Home Stretch, young people subject to permanent care orders 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 available through the Better Futures Program and supports young people in care to make a more gradual transition to independent living.