Victorian Community Services Minister Mary Wooldridge has announced the successful providers delivering the Victorian Coalition Government’s new Springboard program for young people leaving state residential care.
Ms Wooldridge also announced that the Australian Institute of Family Studies has been funded to conduct a four-year longitudinal research study on young people’s experiences transitioning from state care.
The Victorian Coalition Government is investing $16.9 million over four years in the Springboard program to help young people leaving child protection residential care to access education and employment.
By 2015 this investment will have assisted about 900 young people to achieve their educational and employment goals, with the aim of securing future success and independence.
Springboard providers offer one-on-one intensive support to help young people aged 16 to 21 leaving care to engage in education and training, and gain the skills needed to secure long- term employment.
They are also funded to help with education expenses, such as equipment, transportation, individual tuition, and other relevant supports.
Twelve specialist agencies and consortiums across the state have been funded to deliver the Springboard program over the next four years.
In order to link with existing Commonwealth mainstream employment programs for young people, Springboard providers are also engaged in delivering the Commonwealth Youth Connections program.
The Coalition Government is investing a further $1 million to conduct the longitudinal research, which aims to identify where improvements can be made to better support care-leavers.
“This longitudinal study is the first of its kind in Victoria and will follow a group of young people over four years, from being in care, transitioning from care, and after leaving care,” Ms Wooldridge said.
“This will improve our understanding of the challenges that confront young people as they transition from care, and how we can better support them to achieve better life outcomes.
The Australian Institute of Family Studies will be supported by a project reference group including young people, the community sector, and experts in out-of-home care and other related service systems throughout Australia.
Media release – Research and support to help young care-leavers