The government is currently reviewing Child Youth and Family Services, including whether the age of foster care should be reviewed.
Under the current law, children lose child services protection when they turn 17, but aren’t able to access adult support services and benefits until they are 18.
Lifewise, Child Poverty Action Group, Dingwall Trust, Wesley Community Acton, Christchurch Methodist Mission and Action Station all support the lifting of the age to 21, and have joined up for a campaign “We don’t stop caring at 17 petition“.
The campaign aims to raise awareness about the issues facing young people leaving care at 17 years. These issues include:
- 17 year olds cannot legally sing a tenancy agreement.
- Young people leaving care do not have a rental history and are often not seen as desirable tenants in a highly competitive rental market.
- For many young people leaving care, the costs of bonds and rent in advance are outside what they can afford. The support available from Work and Income often does not cover the full cost, and any assistance is recoverable.This can push young people into debt just to secure a roof over their heads.
- Care leavers are know to suffer disproportionately poor outcomes (homelessness, over representation in the justice system, high risk of long term dependency.
The campaign aims to present a 10,000 or more signed petition to the Social Services Select Committee. For more information about the campaign go here
Let show we care and sign the petition today!