Legal gathering in Victoria features positive change for young people through Home Stretch

Legal gathering in Victoria features positive change for young people through Home Stretch

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Our opening of the law year event will connect Victoria’s legal profession and providers of services for vulnerable youth to learn about a campaign aimed at lifting Victoria’s out-of-home care age limit from 18 to 21.

Many young people leaving out-of-home care experience poor transitions to adulthood and unsatisfactory life outcomes because the State terminates its support when they turn 18.

The breakfast event on 2 February will feature presenters Susan Baidawi, Monash University Research Fellow and PhD candidate, and Paul McDonald, Chief Executive Officer, Anglicare Victoria, alongside Dylan, a recent care leaver.

Executive Director Family, Youth and Children’s Law Nicole Rich anticipates a motivating event, with a positive, practical youth care message.

‘We are thrilled to have academic Susan Baidawi present with youth advocate, Home Stretch Chair and Anglicare Victoria CEO Paul McDonald,’ Nicole said.

‘Susan’s research provides real insights into the experiences of young Victorians who depend on the state for their care in formative years, and the Home Stretch campaign applies that knowledge.

‘Susan will discuss current successful reform in the United Kingdom and the United States.

‘We will also be joined by Dylan, a recent care leaver who will share his personal story of being left at 18 years of age with no support, helping us to understand what this abrupt end to the state support means for 600 other care leavers every year in Victoria.

‘Together we can advocate for a change that will help this vulnerable group who are in Victoria’s care,’ Nicole said.

Victoria Legal Aid is a strong advocate for positive change for young people through supporting leading campaigns such as Home Stretch.

Paul McDonald Anglicare Victoria CEO says the chorus for reform has become irresistible.

‘The outcomes from international experience where care has been extended to the age of 21 are evident. Anglicare Victoria has recently delivered the landmark Deloitte Access Economics report which shows that extending care to 21 will be a reform we can all benefit from.

‘The report shows up to a $2.69 return on investment for every $1 dollar invested in extending the care experience. This would be realised in a halving of homelessness for this cohort and would double tertiary education participation.

‘For our legal profession audience celebrating the start of the law year, I can say that the evidence shows that when care is extended to 21 years this same cohort will have their arrests reduced by a third, and hospitalisations by the same.

‘Given the strong outcomes for the legal profession and the reduction in pressures on the justice system this reform would bring, The Home Stretch campaign is pleased to partner with Victoria Legal Aid to bring about this important event.

‘This gives those within the legal profession a chance to understand the positive flow on impact to the justice system,’ Paul said.

Ends

More information

Visit Home Stretch to read Deloitte’s socioe-conomic cost benefit analysis of extending care to 21.

For last-minute tickets to the event or to register for future events email gabrielle.kopke@vla.vic.gov.au

Media enquiries

If you have a media enquiry, please email Stakeholder Engagement Manager Gabrielle Kopke via gabrielle.kopke@vla.vic.gov.au or phone (03) 9269 0750 or 0413 123 060.