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.
Chicago, Il. : Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, 2020.
This report looks at the impact of extending foster care supports past the age of 18. Recognizing that this age was too young for most youth to be without support, California introduced new law in 2010 giving eligible youth the option to remain in foster care and receive services and supports until age 20. The California Youth Transitions to Adulthood Study (CalYOUTH) has been following the progress of a sample of young people in care in 2012, aged 16/17. It investigates: whether extending foster care past age 18 influence youths' outcomes during the transition to adulthood; the factors that influence the types of support youth receive; and how living arrangements and other services that result from extending foster care influence the relationship between extending care and youth outcomes. This report checks in with them again at the age of 23, now that they have been out of the care system for 2 years. The study finds that on average these young people are still faring poorly compared to their age peers across many measures of well-being, including their educational attainment, employment, economic self-sufficiency, physical and mental health, and involvement with the criminal justice system. However, the findings suggest that gender, race, and ethnicity condition these youths' experiences, as they do for all young people in America. Most of the young adults looked back favorably on their experience of care, and were generally satisfied with the life skills training and services they received.
Ashfield, NSW : Family and Communities Services Insights, Analysis and Research, 2020.
This report provides a review of the evidence on the impact of different types of out of home care interventions on children's outcomes. The findings have been mapped to create an interactive website on what is known about 'what works' and the gaps in the evidence: this report summarises the methodology of the systematic search and its findings. Interventions include: carer training and support, child-centred therapy, therapeutic foster care, attachment-based interventions, school readiness support, youth behavioural change, leaving care and aftercare support, and restoration support. Outcomes include: parenting capacity, safety, permanency, cultural belonging, supportive relationships, self-determination, healthy lifestyles, physical health, mental health, school readiness, and employment and training. The review found that most studies looked at mental health, with only limited evidence on cultural belonging. Note, this review updates and expands an earlier one undertaken in 2017.
Children and Youth Services Review 16 Dec 2020: Advance online publication
This article highlights findings from a recent study into the experiences and service needs of Indigenous children and young people exiting from out of home care in Australia. The study involved focus groups and interviews with 53 representatives of government departments, non-government organisations, and Aboriginal community-controlled organisations, and investigated the number of Indigenous young people leaving care, their needs and outcomes, and current policies and programs. The study found that Indigenous care leavers have unique experiences and needs, but specific funding and resources are limited, and little is known about their numbers and outcomes. Recommendations are made for data collection, funding, and culturally appropriate services.
Melbourne, Vic. : Commission for Children and Young People, 2020.
This inquiry examines the needs and aspirations of young people leaving care in Victoria and the capacity of the system to respond. When the state assumes the responsibility and obligation to act as a parent to a child in care, it must do more than simply meeting the basic needs of a child until they turn 18. The inquiry looks into: the lived experience of transitioning from care; the education, health, mental health and housing needs and aspirations of young people leaving care; the short to medium life trajectories of these young people, including living arrangements and engagement with social and health services, homelessness services, education and training, and the criminal justice system; and the application of Victorian Government policies and guidelines regarding planning and preparation for leaving care. It draws on consultations with young people and stakeholders and a review of case files and quantitative data. The inquiry finds the out-of-home care system is not doing enough to help young people plan and prepare for their transition to independence, and makes 15 recommendation for improvement.
Children Australia 27 Nov 2020: Advance online publication
This article explores the high prevalence of pregnancy among care leavers. It discusses the literature on the association between the transition from care and early parenting, with reference to Boss's 2010 Ambiguous Loss theory, which contends that young people with experiences of child protection involvement and placement in out-of-home care may experience enduring feelings of loss associated with removal from their family, as well as from any placement instability. Sections in the article include: Prevalence of care leaver early parenting; Care leavers, removal from family and Ambiguous Loss theory; Reconnecting with family: choice or necessity?; Disenfranchised loss and grief; Relationships with family and social and community connections; The social exclusion of bureaucratic care; Pathways to care leavers' early parenting; The 'emotional void': wanted pregnancies and school as a preventative factor; Protective interventions: surveillance bias or support?; Poverty and protective interventions; Child removal and repeat pregnancies; Parenting support and 'turning lives around'; Extended care; Blaming the victim: exploitation and coercion; and Sex education and pregnancy prevention.
Child and Family Social Work 18 Aug 2020: Advance online publication
This article explores the experiences of young people in therapeutic residential care in Australia. The finding highlight issues of peer victimisation, loss, and uncertainty during transitions, and suggest that more work is required to therapeutic residential care settings a safe and healing environment. The findings also provide insights for practitioners working with families and in leaving care supports.
Children Australia 26 Oct 2020: Advance online publication
This article explores the challenges of leaving care - and how it could be improved - from the perspectives of young people and staff in Tasmania. Interviews and focus groups were conducted with 33 young people in care, young people who had left care, carers, caseworkers, and senior executives, regarding the challenges surrounding the transition process and opportunities for improvement. Together, the participants identified four key challenges: inadequate processes underpinning the transition; instability within the family unit; financial challenges; and a lack of independence during care. The participants agreed that greater support during the transition process is necessary, including life-skills training while in care and after-care support through a post-care worker or mentor.
British Journal of Social Work v. 50 no. 5 Jul 2020: 1513-1530
This article reviews evaluations of extended care programmes for young people in out of home care in the United States and England, including the strengths and limitations of these programmes and the issue of eligibility criteria. It then considers the implications for policy development in Australia, where extended care programmes have only recently been introduced. Issues include the factors for success and the cross-cultural and policy context differences that may affect the effectiveness of such programmes here.
Hawthorn, Vic. : Distributed by Australian Policy Online, 2020.
This report adds to what is known about the numbers, experiences and services of Indigenous children and young people exiting from out of home care in Australia, and makes recommendations for policy, program and service provision. It draws on focus groups and interviews with 53 professionals from government departments, non-government organisations, and Aboriginal Controlled Community Organisations, regarding the number of Indigenous young people leaving care in each state and territory, existing policies and programs aiming to support this group in each jurisdiction, key challenges and outcomes for Indigenous young people transitioning from care, funding, service system failures, and good practice in supporting Indigenous young people transitioning from care. The findings highlight the significant gaps in data collection and inadequacies in service funding, leaving care plans, and workforce issues, as well as the challenges facing the young people in transitioning to independence. However, examples of good practice can also be seen.
Melbourne : Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare, 2020
The 'Raising Expectations' initiative is a cross-sector collaboration between the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare, the Victorian government, and 3 universities that aims to increase the participation and achievement of young people from out-of-home care in vocational and higher education. This brochure summarises the findings from a social return on investment analysis of the initiative, undertaken by Deloitte. The analysis evaluated program returns relative to administration costs, from 2016 to 2019. The analysis found the social and economic benefits of the program substantially outweigh the costs of assisting young care leavers: for every dollar invested, an estimated minimum of $1.80 is returned in benefits. The full report is available from the program upon request.
27 May 2020
This webinar will explore the potential impact of COVID-19 on young care leavers, and strategies to strengthen their social and emotional wellbeing. Young people leaving care face many challenges. Past webinars have explored these issues, looking at young people's experiences of leaving care and how they could be better supported by extending care. In the wake of COVID-19, there is growing concern that young people leaving care will face even greater challenges. This webinar will reflect on past presentations and current responses in considering what may help support young care leavers during this pandemic. Recognising the increased risks of social isolation and psychological stress, presenters will discuss strategies to strengthen young people's social capital and improve their social and emotional wellbeing.
Brisbane, Qld. : Queensland Family and Child Commission, 2020
This study looks into leaving care transition services in the Sunshine Coast region of Queensland. It investigates available services and supports, young people's participation in transition planning, facilitators and barriers to improved outcomes, and local partnerships, drawing on focus groups, interviews, site visits, administrative data, and a review of literature. The study found that the Sunshine Coast service system has many features that facilitate successful transition to independence outcomes for young people, though some barriers and opportunities were also identified.
Melbourne : Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute, 2020.
This report investigates what measures could reduce youth homelessness and lead to improved outcomes for young people who experience homelessness. It is part of a broader project into a designing an effective homelessness service system in Australia. In particular, it examines innovative and successful approaches already in use across Australia to help identify: how policy makers might go about rebalancing the support system for vulnerable young people to significantly expand early intervention and post-homelessness rapid rehousing and supported housing for young people; what changes to housing agreements and policies, as well as income and employment support, would be needed to redress the current issues young people have in accessing and maintaining affordable housing options; and how the education and employment support systems and the community services/homelessness systems could be better integrated. Sections include: policy context; conceptualising youth homelessness as a social problem; community-level data analysis; organising community-level access; early intervention and prevention; an ecosystem of support services; exiting the homelessness service system and housing options; Indigenous perspectives; young people leaving state care; and policy development options.
Sydney, NSW : Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Sydney, 2020.
This report explores the housing experiences of young people with complex needs in New South Wales. Findings are taken from the Stories of Resourcing and Resourcefulness study, a three-year study of how young people with complex service needs engage over time with both formal and informal resources. 44 young people aged between 13 to 26 years took part, recruited through frontline staff in a range of youth services. The participants discussed their experiences of different types of housing, the importance of home and of safety, drivers and impacts of housing instability, informal housing solutions, and their housing needs. The findings highlights how these young people's housing experiences reflect their complex histories, with few finding permanent, safe and stable housing options. In some circumstances, living with family or living in out-of-home care may be less safe and less stable than homelessness. Nevertheless, all young people demonstrated tenacity and dogged efforts to secure housing and establish themselves in a home.
Melbourne, Vic. : Monash University Department of Social Work, 2020.
This report describes an out of home care transition program from the western suburbs of Melbourne, Victoria. The Salvation Army's Continuing Care program provides relationship-based support to assist the planning, preparation and support needs of young people during their transition from out-of-home care to independent living. It involves training, referral, and support for independent living skills, education and employment, financial support, housing, and homelessness and crisis prevention, as well as addressing the anxiety of leaving care. This report discusses the context of transitioning from out of home care then presents findings from an evaluation of the program. The evaluation found that the program was able to utilise consistent and trusting relationships and networking to address potential barriers to successful transition, such as leaving care anxiety and limited communication between different support services and systems.
Developing Practice: The Child, Youth and Family Work Journal no. 54 Dec 2019: 21-34
This article explores the benefits and challenges of a rights-based conceptualisation of child welfare and child protection work and how a rights-based approach may help practitioners to do better for children. First, it considers two areas in which established practice tends to be taken for granted: the disclosure of maltreatment by children and children's participation in care proceedings. It then looks at the value of a rights-based approach in determining the extent of the state's responsibilities in supporting young people leaving care and then addresses concerns that a rights-based approach accords insufficient attention to the importance of personal relationships. Examples are taken from the United Nations, the United Kingdom and New South Wales. This article is based on a paper presented at the 2018 Conference of the Association of Children's Welfare Agencies.
Oxford Review of Education v. 45 no. 4 2019: 573-586
The 'Raising Expectations' initiative is a cross-sector collaboration between the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare, the Victorian government, and 2 universities that aims to increase the participation and achievement of young people from out-of-home care in vocational and higher education. This article describes the design and implementation of the initiative and highlights outcomes for enrolment, retention, and addressing the barriers to higher education.
Sydney, N.S.W. : Centre for Excellence in Therapeutic Care, 2019.
This paper provides an overview of the literature on the experiences and needs of young people in out of home care who are same sex attracted, trans or gender diverse. Topics include population estimates, experiences before and after care, and the kinds of supports that are needed. The international research indicates that LGBTIQ young people are over-represented in out-of-home care, are likely to have been exposed to more physical, emotional and sexual violence prior to being placed in care. and are also more vulnerable subsequent to leaving care. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.