Young People with a Disability Leaving State Care Phase Two Report. Issues, Challenges, Directions The Young People’s Perspective.

RESEARCH REPORT

Authors: Pamela Snow, Philip Mendes and Delia O’Donohue

Year: N.D.

Summary: 

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.

Relationship-based practice and service system expertise to support young people transitioning from out-of-home care in Victoria

RESEARCH REPORT

Author: Jade Purtell, Philip Mendes

Year: 2020

Summary: 

The Salvation Army Westcare Continuing Care program evaluation final report by Jade Purtell and Philip Mendes (Monash University Department of Social Work)

This is the final report of the evaluation of the Salvation Army Westcare Continuing Care Program, which was based in Melbourne’s Western Metropolitan Region from 2013-19. The program aimed to provide relationship-based support to assist the planning, preparation and support needs of young people during their transition from out-of-home care (OOHC) to independent living.

Young people transitioning from OOHC, often called care leavers or care experienced young people, are recognized globally as a vulnerable group. This is due to a range of circumstances including exposure to childhood disadvantage and sometimes trauma prior to entering care, varied OOHC experiences in terms of levels of placement and carer stability; and limited assistance from family and community connections as they transition from care into adulthood. Nevertheless, they are not a homogeneous group, and vary greatly in terms of their developmental needs and capacity at the time of transition.