When Melissa* turned 18, she had to leave her foster care home because government funding had stopped.
Now responsible for making ends meet, Melissa had to find a way to afford food, rent and essentials without parents or a family to guide her. She even had dreams of working in childcare but didn’t know
where to start.
But thanks to the support of generous people like you, we stepped in and helped Melissa
find her feet through Wesley Take Charge of Your Life.
This program helps young people transition successfully from living in out-of-home care to living independently. It offers services including accommodation assistance, life skills such as cooking, cleaning
and budgeting, job search and work experience placements, and things that parents would usually do such as driving lessons.
For Melissa, it made all the difference. Take Charge of Your Life helped Melissa find stable accommodation and helped her complete a Certificate IV in Early Childhood Education through TAFE. “If it wasn’t for the [Wesley] Take Charge of Your Life program, I think I would have been without a stable home and much hope for the future,” says Melissa.
Support for care leavers in NSW makes history
We’re happy to report that as a result of advocacy by the ‘Home Stretch’ campaign, including Wesley Mission, the NSW Government agreed in November last year to provide support for young people in out-ofhome-care until they turn 21. This will provide greater security and stability for young people who may already be having a tough time.
When young people leave care at 18, 29 per cent are unemployed within 12 months, compared with a national average of 9.7 per cent. Additionally, 63 per cent of all homeless young people under 25 have been in out-of home care at some point in their lives.1
Our CEO, Rev Stu Cameron, says, “Young people leaving out-of-home care often face a transition to adult responsibilities without family support. We welcome the NSW Government’s decision to raise the age for ongoing support to 21. As one of the largest non-government out-of-home care providers in NSW, we will continue to ensure that young people entrusted to our care can get the help they need to achieve independence and confidently pursue their goals.”
*Name and photo changed to protect privacy
¹ Vincent Fairfax Foundation ‘Homestretch’ program