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Leaving care – report released

20 July 2021

A review by the Office of the Children’s Guardian of the experiences of young people leaving care will be used to strengthen requirements for statutory out-of-home care providers in NSW.

The experiences of 635 young people leaving care last year are examined in a report released today into the practice of agencies in the leaving care monitoring program 2020–21.

Key themes emerging from the review

  • Most young people who left care between 23 March and 31 December 2020 had a leaving care plan, but the quality of these plans varied significantly
  • most young people who had a leaving care plan participated in the development of their plans and were able to influence decisions impacting on their lives
  • where young people were not engaged in planning for leaving care, plans were often generic and not informed by an assessment of the young person’s independent living skills
  • those who were in stable placements and had the support of at least one adult had more comprehensive plans
  • agencies need to strengthen approaches to cultural planning to help young people to maintain connections with culture, particularly for Aboriginal young people
  • many leaving care plans were approved after the young person had turned 18 and leaving care casework must begin much earlier, and
  • the support that young people receive after leaving care varies significantly across the sector.

These themes will inform the review of the NSW Child Safe Standards for Permanent Care to better support young people leaving care and building independent lives with the supports they need.

Read the report on the leaving care monitoring program 2020–21 (PDF 361.1KB)

Media contact: media@ocg.nsw.gov.au