Thursday, 14th June 2018
PRO BONO AUSTRALIA
Luke Michael - Journalist
The Victorian opposition leader has promised to trial the extension of state care from 18 to 21 if successful at the upcoming state election, putting pressure on the state government to reform Victoria's care system.
Speaking at the 2018 Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS) Summit on Wednesday, opposition leader Matthew Guy announced that a Liberal-Nationals government would conduct a two year pilot program for the extension of state care.
This pilot would provide funding for 75 places per year, providing young people transitioning from state care with support for their education, employment and housing.
"We will provide more support for Victoria's most vulnerable kids," Guy said.
"I want to break the current cycle of despair that young vulnerable people experience and this initiative will give those young people hope for the future."
Shadow minister for families and children, Georgie Crozier, said this would provide practical and useful support to vulnerable young people leaving state care.
"Young people leaving state care face an uncertain future and we are committed to making sure that each one has the opportunities to improve their education and training, get a good job and plan for their future," Crozier said.
This announcement comes on the back of a concerted campaign from Home Stretch, an alliance championing the extension of state care from 18 to 21.
These advocates say they have witnessed poor outcomes for those required to leave the care system on or before they turn 18, with many becoming homeless, involved with the criminal justice system, or facing unemployment.
In May, Home Stretch supporters gathered at the Victorian State Library to mark the launch of the group's state election campaign, encouraging political parties to promise reform of Victoria's state care system.
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