Leaving care

The latest material added to the Australian Institute of Family Studies library database is displayed, up to a maximum of 30 items. Where available online, a link to the document is provided. Many items can be borrowed from the Institute's library via the Interlibrary loan system.

See more resources on Leaving care in the AIFS library catalogue

Telling a new coming-of-age story: mapping the gaps between expert and public understandings of transition age youth

Pineau M
Washington, DC : FrameWorks Institute, 2019.
This paper is part of a suite of resources to help experts and advocates communicate about the needs and issues of young people ageing out of the foster care system. The American public do have ways of thinking about the foster care system and adolescence. And, when asked about coming of age in the foster care system, they draws on these ways of thinking to understand what this might means. This report explores these ways of thinking, and uses the findings to produce a strategy for reframing the issue of transition age youth and what society must do to support them. It summarises findings from interviews with the public and experts and considers the cultural models that underlie how Americans understand and reason about adolescence and foster care. The first and most important finding from this research is that the very concept of transition age youth is missing in the public conscience: Americans don't recognize transition age youth as a discrete population with specific challenges and lack established ways of thinking about this group.

The views of children and young people in out-of-home care in NSW: results from the 2018 NSW Out-Of-Home Care and Residential Care Surveys

New South Wales. Dept. of Communities and Justice. Insights, Analysis and Research Unit
Ashfield, NSW : NSW Dept. of Communities and Justice, 2019.
This report summarises findings from two recent surveys of children and young people in out-of-home care in New South Wales. In 2018, 322 children and young people took part in the NSW OOHC Survey and 143 took part in the NSW Residential Care Survey, with the data also being submitted to the recent National OOHC Survey. The findings are discussed thematically under the 8 indicators of the National Standards for OOHC: 'sense of security', 'participation', 'community activity', 'family connection', 'family contact', 'sense of community', 'significant person', and 'leaving care', and compared to findings from a previous similar survey in 2015. Overall, the findings are encouraging. However, children and young people in residential care report lower levels of inclusion, participation, and feeling safe and settled.

Pathways of Care Longitudinal Study - outcomes of children and young people in out-of-home care: Leaving Care Cohort (15-17 years) statistical report - experiences of young people who entered out-of-home care aged 9-14 years.

Burke S, Hopkins J, Paxman M, Zhou A and Butler M
Ashfield, NSW : NSW Dept. of Family and Community Services, 2019.
This report looks at young people's readiness and needs for leaving out of home care in New South Wales. It presents information on a subset of young people in the Pathways of Care Longitudinal Study (POCLS), focusing on the 76 young people who entered out of home care during middle childhood and who are now aged 15-17 years old and will soon be leaving care. Topics include demographic characteristics, child protection histories, out of home care placements, child development scoring, behaviour problems, views on leaving care, likely living arrangements, ability to cope, concerns and needs, and preparation and planning. Data is taken from surveys in Waves 2 or 3 completed by the young people and their carers and case workers. The study found that over a third of these young people had clinical range behaviour problems, over half had below normal range language development, and just under half had below normal range non verbal reasoning. While most carers are happy to have the young people in their care stay on in the placement after they turn 18 years old, post-care planning varied across placement types and only around half of the young people had planning underway. Carers and caseworkers tended to report young people requiring support to a greater degree than the young people reported themselves.

Youth Ambassador Program report 2018-2019

Aboriginal Child Family and Community Care Secretariat (NSW) Inc.
Marrickville, NSW : AbSec, 2019.
The AbSec Youth Ambassador program (YAP) is an initiative to provide a platform for Aboriginal young people to engage with the child protection and out-of-home care sector in New South Wales. This document highlights the work of the Youth Ambassadors in the 2018/19 period and presents their work plan to advance three issues: permanency, housing, and a hotline service to provide information and support.

Safe and well: supporting families, protecting children - the Government of South Australia's strategy for keeping families and children safe and well

South Australia, South Australia. Dept. for Child Protection
Adelaide, S. Aust. : Department for Child Protection, 2019.
This document sets out the South Australian government's strategy to support families at risk of entering the child protection system, protect children from harm when they come into care, and invest in young people to leave care with opportunities for a bright future. 'Safe and well' provides a framework for all government agencies, non-government partners, and the community to understand how the government will organise and prioritise whole-of-government and system level reforms over the next three years to keep vulnerable children and families safe and well. The document explains the need for these reforms and describes actions for the next twelve months under the key focus areas of supporting, protecting and investing.

Pathways of Care Longitudinal Study - outcomes of children and young people in out-of-home care in NSW: Caseworker Survey statistical report.

Hopkins J, Paxman M, Zhou A, Watson J, Burke S and Butler M
Ashfield, NSW : NSW Dept. of Family and Community Services, 2019.
This report provides a summary of data collected in the caseworker survey conducted as part of the Pathways of Care Longitudinal Study (POCLS) In New South Wales. POCLS is the first large scale prospective longitudinal study on out-of-home care (OOHC) in Australia and will follow 4,126 children aged 0-17 years old entering OOHC in the state. To date, four Waves of data collection have been undertaken at 18-24 month intervals. The caseworker survey was completed between October 2014 and June 2016 as a part of Wave 3, and included caseworkers from both government and non-government organisations. Data was provided regarding 1,342 children. Topics include: child characteristics, case characteristics, placement, siblings, case plan goal, contact, parents' interest in restoration, knowledge of the parents and the carers, child's understanding of being in care and participation in case planning, placement breakdown, consultation about placement, concerns about child, school enrolment, changing schools, difficulties at school, education planning, child contact with birth parents and siblings, satisfaction with contact arrangements, supports and services received by birth parents towards restoration, and leaving care planning. The report concludes by noting what is working well and practices that need addressing.

Exploring outcomes for young people who have experienced out-of-home care

Lima F, Maclean M and O'Donnell M
Perth : Telethon Kids Institute, 2019.
Young people leaving the care system are at high risk of disadvantage, due to the significant and complex issues they have faced in childhood and the lack of supports available as they transition to independent adult life. This report was commissioned to learn more about the outcomes of young people leaving care in Western Australia. It compares the physical and mental health, school achievement, justice involvement, and child protection involvement of children who had been in care, children with at least one substantiated maltreatment allegation but no time in care, and children with no child protection contact. It draws on linked population data for children born between 1 January 1990 and 30 June 1995 in Western Australia, regarding hospital admissions, mental health diagnoses and service use, secondary education completion, further education, juvenile justice sentences, adult justice sentences, early pregnancy, and multiple adverse outcomes. The findings are consistent with those of studies from other jurisdictions, with young people who had been in care were more likely to have adverse outcomes than the other children. Young people who were Aboriginal, female, born in a more disadvantaged area, or first entered care after the age of 10 were particularly at risk. Note, these children had wide-ranging periods in care, from two days up to 18 years, so further analysis is needed into differences by time spent in care, age on entering and leaving care, and placement type.

Final report

Walters M and Barrow R
Baton Rouge, LA :Dept. of Children & Family Services, 2019.
This report presents the findings and recommendations of an inquiry into extending the age of foster care from 18 to 21 in Louisiana, USA. The inquiry focused on best program components to serve youth aging out of care, while at the same time determining feasibility of those services. The inquiry was established by the Louisiana Legislature in response to the ending of the Young Adult Program in 2013 and the recommendations of the 2016 Task Force on Youth Aging Out of Foster Care. The report discusses research on the poor outcomes of youth who exit foster care at age 18 and the improved outcomes of young people who stay in foster care past the age of 18, as well as current programs and policies in Louisiana. It then briefly considers the associated costs and revenues, eligibility requirements, and best practice. The inquiry concludes that Louisiana has a responsibility to continue supporting vulnerable youth who age out of the foster care system and presents this report to help support state leaders in considering how best to provide supports and services.

Supporting families, changing futures 2019-2023: the Queensland Government's plan for helping Queensland children, young people, parents and families experiencing vulnerability

Queensland, Queensland. Dept. of Child Safety, Youth and Women
Brisbane, Qld. : Dept. of Child Safety, Youth and Women, 2019.
This document outlines the Queensland Government's plan for enhancing services to children and families experiencing vulnerability. It represents the final phase of a 10-year 'Supporting Families Changing Futures' reform strategy, which was established in response to the recommendations of the 2013 Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry. The document highlights achievements from the last five years, reviews ongoing issues and stakeholder feedback, and details priorities and actions for the next five years. Particular issues are early intervention approaches, out of home care, and young people's transition from care. This new plan will focus on the four wellbeing outcomes of: safe, secure and stable; healthy; learning, earning and developing; and participating, belonging and identity.

Young people's experiences of leaving care and their support needs : recent research and promising practices.

Muir S, Purtell J and Limoges L
24 July 2019.
This webinar will discuss young people's experiences leaving care in Victoria, drawing on recent findings from the Beyond 18 longitudinal study, then will look at two examples of promising practice from New South Wales. In most Australian states and territories, out-of-home care arrangements still end when a young person turns 18 years old. For some care leavers, this can result in an abrupt transition into independent living at an age when many young people in the general population are still supported by their parents. Many care leavers also have complex histories of trauma or neglect that can hinder their social and emotional development. Young people need to be supported during this transition to adulthood to help them achieve better outcomes in employment, education and mental health. This webinar will share insights into young people's experiences of leaving care, including the challenges they faced when preparing to leave care, how they fared after they left care, and the supports they and other care leavers needed most. UnitingCare NSW/ACT is one organisation working to better support young care leavers during this transition, and their extended care pilot program and youth foyer project are good examples of promising practice.

Policy and practice supports for young people transitioning from out-of-home care : an analysis of six recent inquiries in Australia.

Mendes P and McCurdy S
Journal of Social Work 30 May 2019: Advance online publication
This article looks at whether recent government inquiries into child protection have addressed the issues of young people leaving care. It analyses the findings and recommendations of 6 state and national inquiries from Australia to evaluate their attention on programme and service supports for young people transitioning from out-of-home care, including how the issue is framed and the types of evidence drawn upon. The review finds that the inquiries unanimously agreed on the inadequacy of current legislation, policy and practice and the need for ongoing services and supports after a young person turns 18.

LGiU Homelessness Commission 2019: final report.

Walker A and Buszard A
London : LGiU, 2019.
This report presents the arguments and recommendations of the LGiU Local Government Homelessness Commission, which was established to investigate how councils in the United Kingdom can fulfil their obligation to prevent homelessness. It is the first assessment of the state of homelessness prevention in Great Britain from the perspective of local government, those who are tasked with actually implementing the policy and supporting some of the most vulnerable people in society. A series of four evidence sessions were held focussing on how councils use data as a homelessness prevention tool, strategies for supporting young people and other vulnerable groups, accessing sustainable accommodation, and finance and funding. Particular issues identified include the vast number of homeless people beyond rough sleepers, the benefits and challenges of the Homelessness Reduction Act, the growth of the private rental sector and low housing supply, and young people leaving care or forced from the family home. In its findings, the Commission argues that a proper housing and homelessness strategy is desperately needed, to address the underlying causes and give councils the powers and resources they need.

Stories of aftercare services and support needs after leaving care: a snapshot from the Stories of Resourcing and Resourcefulness project

Skattebol J, Hamilton M, Thomson C, Blaxland M and Valentine K
Sydney, NSW : Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Sydney, 2019.
Many young people who leave out-of-home care struggle to access the support and resources they require for independent living. This report provides insights into these young people's experiences of accessing services in New South Wales, presented in the form of quotes and short case studies. It presents preliminary findings from a larger three-year study, focusing on a smaller sample of 22 young people aged 12 to 26 years old who had left care and were using aftercare or other services. In particular, it focuses on the pathways young people take before accessing aftercare services, and their experience of using aftercare services. These young people's stories reveal the fragmented and crisis-orientated nature of services, and their limited knowledge of aftercare services. All of these young people describe how earlier support from aftercare services would have alleviated many of the difficulties they faced when first leaving care. This is the updated version of this report.

Beyond 18, The Longitudinal Study on Leaving Care: Wave 3 research report - outcomes for young people leaving care in Victoria

Muir S, Purtell J, Hand K and Carroll M
Melbourne : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2019.
This report looks at how young people are faring after leaving out-of-home care in Victoria and their views on the main barriers and enablers for achieving better life outcomes. It presents findings from the third and final wave of data collection from 'Beyond 18: The Longitudinal Study on Leaving Care', and involved a survey of 126 care leavers supplemented with interviews with 54 of the participants. Topics include: income, employment and financial security; post-care accommodation and housing mobility; formal education; health and wellbeing; challenging behaviours and contact with the justice system; social networks and support; pregnancy and parenting; and access to support services. Overall, the study found that a significant proportion of these care leavers were struggling with life after care, with low of educational attainment, low incomes, high levels of financial stress, and a high prevalence of mental health issues than the general population. However, many care leavers showed a desire to improve their lives and a number of the young people were doing well.

Beyond 18, The Longitudinal Study on Leaving Care: Wave 2 research report - transitioning to post-care life

Purtell J, Muir S and Carroll M
Melbourne : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2019.
This report looks at how young people are faring after leaving out-of-home care in Victoria. It presents findings from the second wave of data collection from 'Beyond 18: The Longitudinal Study on Leaving Care'. The study found that these care leavers had generally poorer mental health, employment and education outcomes than other young people their age, and were also more likely to have children of their own. It also found that young people from residential care had poorer outcomes on some measures than young people from home-based care placements, reporting higher levels of financial stress, greater psychological distress, reduced sense of control over their lives, and difficulty maintaining social relationships. However, some of the care leavers appeared to have had a relatively 'smooth' transition and achieved positive outcomes. A later report will look what factors are associated with these differing transition outcomes.

Homelessness and care experiences: beyond the headlines

Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland
Glasgow : CELCIS, University of Strathclyde, 2019.
This discussion paper looks at the information available to inform debate and policy on young people leaving care in Scotland. It investigates known about how homelessness disproportionately affects the lives of looked after children and care leavers, including the data sources in the United Kingdom, the gaps in what is known, and what further research is needed.

Extending care : supporting young people's transition from out-of-home care to adulthood.

McDonald P and Mendes P
15 May 2019.
This webinar will discuss recent research on the social and economic benefits of extending care to young people transitioning to adulthood. Young people leaving out-of-home care (OOHC) are a vulnerable population. They are at increased risk of poor mental health and developmental delays, and may experience a lack of affordable housing and poor pathways to employment. The transition to adulthood without family support can be challenging for young people leaving OOHC after they turn 18 years of age. Some have argued that young people can be better supported during their transition to adulthood by extending care until 21 years of age or later. This webinar will look at how extending care could improve a range of critical outcomes for these young people. The presenters will review how policy has developed over recent decades, and outline the potential economic benefits of extending care to young people transitioning from OOHC to adulthood. They will also discuss the emerging evidence on extended care implemented internationally and consider its implications for policy and practice in Australia.

Young people transitioning from out-of-home care : what do public inquiries tell us about the state of current policy and practice in Australia?

Mendes P
CFCA short article 6 May 2019
This short article summarises key messages from recent public inquiries about supporting young people leaving out-of-home care. Young people leave out-of-home care in Australia at the age of 18 and they face many challenges as they transition into adulthood without family support. The strongest body of evidence to support extending the age of leaving care emanates from eight public reports prepared by a range of government and related statutory bodies. This article summarises their findings about the challenges these young people face and the recommendations for extending post-care support.

Good practice in supporting young people leaving care

Cameron N, McPherson L, Gatwiri K and Parmenter N
Sydney, N.S.W. : Centre for Excellence in Therapeutic Care, 2019.
This research briefing provides an overview of what young people leaving residential care need and how those working in residential care can best help young people prepare for independence. Drawing on the Australian and international literature, it outlines the challenges facing young people leaving care, current entitlements in Australia, and the factors known to be crucial to positive transitions. This paper was produced by the Centre for Excellence in Therapeutic Care, a partnership between the Australian Childhood Foundation and Southern Cross University established to support the rollout of the new Intensive Therapeutic Care system across New South Wales.

Passports out of poverty : raising access to higher education for care leavers in Australia.

McNamara P, Harvey A and Andrewartha L
Children and Youth Services Review v. 97 Feb 2019: 85-93
This article explores higher education among care leavers in Australia, including pathways, access, and achievement. It draws on surveys and interviews with senior personnel from the higher education and community service sectors, and is part of a broader study that will also involve a review of the literature and data sets. The findings from this qualitative part of the study highlight the impact of childhood poverty, trauma and disadvantage on educational participation and outcomes.

Extending care to 21 years in New South Wales

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (Firm), Anglicare NSW, Home Stretch (Campaign). NSW Committee
Sydney, N.S.W. : Anglicare NSW, 2018.
The Home Stretch Campaign is advocating to extend the age of eligibility for care from 18 to 21 years of age in New South Wales. Young people leaving care are among the most vulnerable groups in Australia, and is related to the early and abrupt end to care that occurs when a young person reaches age 18. To support this campaign, this report analyses the costs and benefits of this proposal for individuals and the government. It compares the current leaving age and the extended leaving age with outcomes relating to housing, education and employment, early parenthood, hospitalisation, mental illness and wellbeing, justice system involvement, smoking, and alcohol and drug dependency. The analysis finds that extended care is a worthwhile investment not just for the benefits for individuals but for governments needing to pay less for support services relative to the cost extending care.

Out-of-home care in Australia: children and young people's views after 5 years of national standards

McDowall J
Parramatta, NSW : CREATE Foundation, 2018.
This report investigates children and young people's views on whether the introduction of the National Standards for Out-of-Home Care has led to improvements in care in Australia. The Standards were introduced in 2011 to foster a similar base level of support across the states and territories. The CREATE Foundation conducted an initial national survey of children and young people in 2012, followed by a government survey in 2015. This report presents findings from a new 2018 survey, and as such reviews the impact of the standards after 5 years of operation. 1,275 children and young people aged 10-17 years old were asked about their experiences of life in care, including placement stability, satisfaction with placement, interactions with care workers, sources of support, case planning, knowledge of family and case history, participation in decision making, connection to culture, leisure activities and the internet, contact with family and friends, health, service usage, education and educational planning and support, bullying, feedback and complaints, and transition to independence. Comparisons are included for type of care placement and jurisdiction. This report provides insights into the strengths and limitations of the out of home care system, as well as what children and young people in care value and need. The survey found that 81% of respondents felt quite happy in their current placement, and that 93% felt safe and secure. Particular issues identified include barriers to involvement in decision making, the lack of support available in residential placements, and the need for better preparation for the transition to independence.

Push and pull: increasing student engagement in Developing Independence : the stage 1 evaluation of the Skills for Independence pilot

Conley L
Fitzroy, Vic. : Brotherhood of St Laurence, 2018.
The Certificate I in Developing Independence is an accredited foundation level course in Victoria for 15-25 year olds who are service-connected and do not have the necessary personal, family and social networks to engage in formal education and training. This report evaluates the delivery of this course through the 'Skills for Independence' pilot program for young people aged 15 to 25 who have experienced a youth justice or child protection order. Drawing on interviews with staff, it investigates the mechanisms and conditions which enable these young people to progress successfully through the course. The evaluation identifies institutional and personal barriers that discourage enrolment and engagement and how these can be addressed.

2018 transitions cohort needs assessment: results from Stage Two - 'high' and 'very high' needs survey

O'Neill D and Jagger R
Wellington N.Z. : Oranga Tamariki Ministry for Children, 2018.
A study is underway on young people in state care in New Zealand who are at particular risk of not making a successful transition to independence. The study will help inform the design of the government's new Transition Support Service. Stage One assessed the level of need of each young person aged 15-17 years old in care and identified that 378 young people - or 40% - had a 'high' or 'very high' level of need. This report presents the findings of Stage Two of the study, which sought to learn more about the circumstances, needs and service delivery gaps experienced by these young people. Interviews were conducted with 120 social workers working with 96 young people in care and protection and 24 in youth justice sites in urban and rural areas, regarding the presence of a trusted adult in the young person's life, parenthood, school or work participation, behaviour putting themselves or others at risk of harm, impacts of risk taking, mental health concerns, disabilities, substance use problems, need and use of services, multiple needs, living arrangement intentions, desire to remain in or return to a caregiving relationship, living arrangements required, barriers to finding suitable accommodation, and other challenges to successful transition.

Stories of aftercare services and support needs after leaving care: a snapshot from the Stories of Resourcing and Resourcefulness project

Skattebol J, Hamilton M, Thomson C, Blaxland M and Valentine K
Sydney, NSW : Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Sydney, 2018.
Many young people who leave out-of-home care struggle to access the support and resources they require for independent living. This report provides insights into these young people's experiences of accessing services in New South Wales, presented in the form of quotes and short case studies. It presents preliminary findings from a larger three-year study, focusing on a smaller sample of 22 young people aged 12 to 26 years old who had left care and were using aftercare or other services. In particular, it focuses on the pathways young people take before accessing aftercare services, and their experience of using aftercare services. These young people's stories reveal the fragmented and crisis-orientated nature of services, and their limited knowledge of aftercare services. All of these young people describe how earlier support from aftercare services would have alleviated many of the difficulties they faced when first leaving care.

From aspiration to opportunity: developing independence in out-of-home care settings

Coddou M and Borlagdan J
Fitzroy, Vic. : Brotherhood of St Laurence, 2018.
The Certificate I in Developing Independence is an accredited foundation level course in Victoria for 15-25 year olds who are service-connected and do not have the necessary personal, family and social networks to engage in formal education and training. This report evaluates stage 2 of a trial of the course with one key group at risk of a poor transition to adulthood - young people in residential care. Stage 1 of the pilot identified several areas for improvement, in particular the need for a preparatory program to develop student readiness and relationships to increase enrolments. Stage 2 incorporated these recommendations, and was trialled again with 34 students in 2017. The evaluation looked at how the young people engaged with the course and the opportunities it offered, how the course supported student capability expansion, how the course integrated into residential care settings and influenced staff culture and practice, and young people's engagement in planning around their futures and goal setting. This report discusses the findings and makes recommendations for further development.

Operation and experience: formative evaluation of the 'Transition from Care to Independence Service'

Oranga Tamariki Evidence Centre (New Zealand), New Zealand. Oranga Tamariki, Ministry for Children
Wellington N.Z. : Oranga Tamariki Ministry for Children, 2018.
The New Zealand Government is currently designing a new national transition service to support young people to grow into flourishing adults. To help inform this project, a formative evaluation of two existing services in Auckland was commissioned. The two 'Transition from Care to Independence' (TCI) services - 'Launch' and 'Ka Awatea' - provide a range of services as well as practical support throughout the transition period, such as helping young people get their driver's licence and find somewhere to live. The evaluation sought to understand how the services were operating on-the-ground, along with the experiences of those involved in its delivery, key success factors, and any challenges faced. Interviews were held with a range of stakeholders, including 15 young people, 10 staff members, 6 social workers, and government representatives.

Homelessness in Western Australia: a review of the research and statistical evidence

Kaleveld L, Seivwright A, Box E, Callis Z and Flatau P
Hawthorn, Vic. : Distributed by Australian Policy Online, 2018.
This report provides an overview of homelessness in Western Australia, including its scale and characteristics, key drivers and causes, the effectiveness of current approaches, and gaps in services and in the evidence. The report concludes by considering the potential path forward for addressing homelessness in Western Australia, and the strategic target areas for future responses. Chapters include: measuring homelessness, a profile of homelessness in Western Australia, Australian Bureau of Statistics measures, Specialist Homelessness Services Data, homelessness among children and teenagers, deinstitutionalisation and homelessness risks for young people, the drivers of adult homelessness, a profile of Indigenous homelessness, the health and justice dimensions, the costs of homelessness, evidence-based principles for effective homelessness interventions, planning responses to homelessness in Western Australia, priority groups for Western Australia identified in homelessness measures, how the sector is doing in terms of meeting needs in Western Australia, and the way forward.

The impact of transitional programmes on post-transition outcomes for youth leaving out-of-home care : a meta-analysis.

Heerde J, Hemphill S and Scholes-Balog K
Health and Social Care in the Community v. 26 no. 1 Jan 2018: e15-e30
This article reviews the literature on the impact of transitional programmes on young people leaving care. It considers programmes for young people aged 15-24 years old and outcomes regarding housing and homelessness, living independently, school completion and post-secondary education, employment, mental health, and substance use. Nineteen studies were identified, all from the United States, but further research is needed.

Beyond 18, The Longitudinal Study on Leaving Care: Wave 1 research report - transition planning and preparation

Muir S and Hand K
Melbourne : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2018.
The Victorian Government has commissioned a study to learn more about the factors associated with successful transitions from out-of-home care. 'Beyond 18: The Longitudinal Study on Leaving Care' will feature case file analysis as well as annual surveys of young people as they make the transition. This report presents findings from the first annual survey, investigating young people's preparations for leaving out-of-home care, including involvement in formal transition planning, school completion, education planning, the development of independent living skills, and accessing services. 202 young people aged 16-19 years old took part. The findings suggest that state legislation and practice guidelines were not often followed and that young people were frequently not involved in formal, structured planning about their future. Some of this appears to be related to caseworkers' focus on meeting young people's most urgent needs, such as having somewhere to live when they leave care, rather than other important but less pressing forms of transition preparation. Future research reports will detail young people's post-care outcomes and the factors influencing their outcomes.
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