FAQs from our Carer Support Team – Leaving care
We’re regularly asked about preparing for leaving care and how carers and young people can navigate the change.
Carers, along with their case workers, are encouraged to begin the conversation with young people at 15. It does not mean that they have to leave the home at 18 but it does provide the opportunity to start discussing options.
What carers need to know about leaving care plans:
- Agencies are responsible for developing a leaving care plan when the young person is 15
- The case worker will work with the carer, young person and any significant others to develop a plan at least 12 months before they leave statutory care or turn 15 years old
- Leaving care plans need to cover topics such as:
- Employments and income support
- Training and education
- Personal history, culture
- Contact details
- Independent living skills
- Financial management, health and lifestyles issues
- Agencies and people who are responsible to carry out each part of the leaving care plan
It is also important for the carer to make sure the young person has the following documents necessary to prove identity and access required services:
- Original birth certificate
- Medicare card, health care card and medical reports
- School reports, certificates, transcripts
- Tax file number
- Bank book /Atm card
- Leaving care letter from agencies
- Copy of the leaving care plan
- Life story work
At this stage carers and case workers are encouraged to teach basic living skills (particularly around budgeting, finances, paperwork such as applications, etc).
Sexual health conversations are very important. Carers and case workers can discuss positive relationships, power and consent. Of course, these conversations can be difficult, but it’s a matter of working with the case worker to see what the best communication method may be.
The Create Foundation website is a great source of information for young people and carers. You’ll find the handy kit called Go Your Own Way with information and checklists for the leaving care process to help planning for the future.