Preparing young people to leave care during COVID-19

Preparing young people to leave care during COVID-19

Philip Mendes and Jacinta Waugh
27 May 2020

This webinar explored the potential impact of COVID-19 on young care leavers, and strategies to strengthen their social and emotional wellbeing.

Young lady looking pensively out of the window

This webinar was held on Wednesday 27 May 2020. Please post your questions and comments below.

A full recording of the webinar and related resources, including slides, audio and a transcript, will be published soon. Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive a notification when these resources are available.

Young people leaving care face many challenges. We have explored these in past webinars, 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 reflected on past CFCA 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 discussed strategies to strengthen young people’s social capital and improve their social and emotional wellbeing.

This webinar is of interest to policy makers and practitioners working with young people across a range of sectors, including out-of-home care, aftercare, mental health, education, employment, homelessness and housing.

Related resources


Featured image: © GettyImages/franckreporter

About the presenters

Philip Mendes

Associate Professor Philip Mendes is the Director of the Social Inclusion and Social Policy Research Unit (SISPRU) in the Department of Social Work at Monash University. Philip has been researching young people leaving state care for 20 years. He is the Australian representative on the Transitions to Adulthood for Young People Leaving Public Care International Research Group and has completed major studies pertaining to youth justice, employment and mentoring programs, disability and Indigenous care leavers. He is currently leading a national study of Indigenous young people leaving care funded by the Sidney Myer Foundation.

Philip has authored/co-authored 12 books including, most recently, Young People Transitioning from Out-of-Home Care: International Research, Policy and Practice, co-edited with Pamela Snow (2016), the third edition of Australia’s Welfare Wars (2017) and Empowerment and Control in the Australian Welfare State: A Critical Analysis of Australian Social Policy Since 1972 (2018). Prior to entering academia, Philip was a child protection worker in Victoria in 1987–88 and again from 1992–95.

Jacinta Waugh

Jacinta Waugh works in the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash University as a Teaching Associate. She is completing her doctoral study examining the influence of informal social supports on the lives of young people leaving state out-of-home care.

As a practising social worker, Jacinta has extensive experience working in the fields of income security, community health, youth homelessness, family support and counselling, in addition to research and policy. Her professional interest and research expertise is in working with disadvantaged young people. As a social researcher, Jacinta has worked on several projects including: Enhancing support for young people receiving the Centrelink homeless income and an independent evaluation of the compulsory income management trial in Shepparton.

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