I Support a Young Care Leaver
A page for people who care for and care about young people transitioning out of care.
GOM Central is all about connecting. Connecting young people to services, information, websites and videos which could help them overcome some of the challenges they face when transitioning to independence.
The best way to support young people to use GOM Central is to encourage them to explore it. Young people usually take to technology like a duck to water, but they may need to be reminded to have a look around GOM Central. If they’re not the kind of young person who can find their way around the internet easily, it could be a good idea to sit with them and help them navigate the site.
GOM City (GOM Central’s mobile app game) is focussed on skill building, and can help young people gain some understanding of managing a house and an income, while they learn useful skills for independence.
They may need extra help when it comes to the GOM Goss blog. This is a blog which is contributed to by young care leavers, who share stories, achievements and information that others might be insightful or useful. But unlike online games, social media and videos, young people don’t always love reading blog posts. This is where they might need a bit of extra encouragement.
If they have been under the Guardianship of the Minister or CE, they are also welcome to contribute to the blog themselves, but to do this they will probably need a lot of support.
Why not offer to scribe for them, writing down the message or story they want to share, and finding a picture to go with it?
If you are interested in advocating on behalf of or alongside a young care leaver there are a few organisations that you can contact.
The Guardian of Children and Young People
The Guardian is appointed to advocate for and promote the rights and best interests of children and young people under the guardianship of the Chief Executive of the Department for Child Protection.
The Guardian advocates for children and young people currently in care, so once they have left care, there is little the Guardian can do. They also advocate for young people, rather than carers, so if you’re planning to call, make sure the young person is there with you on the call.
CREATE Foundation is the national consumer body representing the voices of children and young people with an out-of-home care experience. They have offices in each state, and they consult with young care leavers, run youth advisory groups and trainings, release research articles, submissions and reports, lobby government and work to influence policy and practice. They also create resources for young people leaving care, and their go your own way website is definitely worth a look.
The Commissioner for Children and Young People
The Commissioner for Children and Young People addresses issues on a systemic level, rather than an individual level, so they can’t take on individual cases or circumstances. However, they have a useful website with information about the rights of children and young people, and they nearly always have surveys, project and polls that young people can get involved in.
Transition to Independent Living Allowance (TILA)
TILA is a nationally funded payment of up to $1,500 to help young people care leavers buy the things they need for their transition to independence. It’s available for young people aged between 15 to 25 years who are leaving or have already left formal out-of-home. TILA is also for young people who continue to live with their foster carers after their care order expires.
The payment can be used to buy items such as a fridge or couch, pay for counselling, education and training courses, medical expenses, a drivers licence or any other items or services agreed between the young person and their case worker.
CREATE Your Future Grants
CREATE Your Future grants are available to young people 15-25 with a statutory care experience. The grant is up to $3000 and helps young people cover things such as driving lessons, laptops and education costs.
There is one CREATE Your Future grant round each year.
Dame Roma Mitchell Grants
Dame Roma Mitchell Grants are available for children and young people who are or have been under the guardianship of the Chief Executive, or Minister for Child Protection. The grants fall into three categories; achieving personal goals, health and wellbeing, and developmental opportunities. These categories cover a very wide range of things, from sporting equipment, art supplies and musical instruments, counselling and costs of attending events, to business expenses and laptops.
There are two Dame Roma Mitchell grant rounds each year, in February and September, however for grants related to further education, applications will be considered outside the normal grant rounds.
The Department of Child Protection
The Department for Child Protection’s online carer platform has information about how the department works, useful carer resources and news.
It can help you understand day-to-day decision-making and responsibility, navigate the care system and find information, documents, tools and websites to help support you through the challenges of caring for a young person.
Connecting Foster and Kinship Carers SA
Connecting Foster & Kinship Carers SA is the peak representative body for foster and kinship carers in South Australia. They provide support, advocacy, information and a peer support network for foster and kinship carers.