Authors: Pamela Snow, Philip Mendes and Delia O’Donohue
This report presents the second phase of the Monash University Young People with a Disability Leaving Care Study. The Phase One Report (Mendes, Snow & Broadley, 2013) presented findings from consultations with practitioners from six key agencies in Victoria that provide out of home care services to young people with disabilities, and an analysis of these findings with reference to relevant national and international literature. The consultations in the first phase of the study aimed to explore from the practitioners’ perspective:
– the ongoing support needs of young people with disabilities when leaving care;
– the demographic backgrounds and care experiences of this group of care leavers;
– the specialised transition needs of this group;
– the nature of the existing policy and practice relationships between child protection services and child and adult disability services; and
– practices and policies that would lead to improved outcomes for young people with a disability transitioning from out of home care in Victoria.
Key findings from the first phase report included:
– practitioners themselves believe leaving care planning is inadequate and that this contributes to poor transitions;
– practitioners are very frustrated by the lack of appropriate housing for young people leaving care;
– interagency collaboration between child protection and disability services is poor; and
– young people who move into adult disability services often experience greatly reduced levels of support.