Home Stretch WA Trial
The Home Stretch WA Trial has co-designed and tested an enhanced support system for young people as an extension of care, providing them with a continuation of support and access to resources from 18 years to when they turn 21 years of age.
Nitja Nop Yorga Ngulla Mia (Our Boys and Girls are staying home)
In April 2020 Yorganop formally partnered with Anglicare WA to undertake a co-design project to adapt the Home Stretch model to meet the needs of the Aboriginal Community connected to Yorganop. This was our first partnership in our 30 year history.
Yorganop CEO Dawn Wallam said it’s vital the voice and perspectives of Aboriginal young people and their families are heard throughout this co-design process.
“While we don’t want our young people remaining in the system, we recognise that between 18-21 years old is an exceptionally vulnerable age. It’s essential that they have the support and connections they need to successfully transition to independence when they’ve been living in the care system.” Yorganop CEO Dawn Wallam
The Trial has been a highly collaborative project driven by the voices and expressed needs of young people and in particular their experiences of ‘ageing out’ of the state care system at 18 and being forced into independence with significantly less support and resources than their peers.
Why is this important?
Young people who have experienced out-of-home care face significant and complex issues during their lives and are considered among the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups in society.
At the age of 18, children in out-of-home care in Western Australia are deemed legally “independent” and many are required to exit from their care and accommodation arrangements. At this age many young people are still completing their final year of high school, or are facing other critical transition points in their lives.
Research across Australia has found a high proportion of these young people end up homeless, in the criminal justice system, unemployed or a new parent within the first year of leaving care.
The lack of an ongoing, stable and supportive placement, emotional support, and a flexible and gradual process toward independent living makes it much more difficult to integrate with society, find employment or develop supportive networks. 1
In contrast, 85% of young people in the general population continue to live with their parents well into their mid-20s, entering and exiting the family home several times as they pursue various development opportunities.2
The Nitja Nop Yorga Ngulla Mia co-design project, jointly led by Yorganop and Anglicare WA, is funded by Lotterywest, with advice and guidance from the Noongar Family Safety Wellbeing Council.
Where to find more information
This report provides a summary of some of the key learnings and insights that have been captured through a range of different co-design tools and activities used in the Trial. This report also provides a number of key recommendations that have been developed through collaboration with key stakeholders involved in the Trial.
The Gallery Walk was held at City Farm from the 27th to the 28th of July. The Gallery Walk was an open and interactive opportunity for anyone interested to take a deep dive into the Home Stretch WA Trial model, and find out what we have learnt and provide input and insights into what happens next.
1 Mendes P and Rogers J 2020, ‘Young People Transitioning from Out-of-Home Care: What are the Lessons from Extended Care Programmes in the USA and England for Australia?’ The British Journal of Social Work, vol. 50, no. 5, pp. 1513-1530
2 The Household, Income & Labour Dynamics (HILDA) in Australia survey data, 2019, – https://melbourneinstitute.unimelb.edu.au/__data/ assets/pdf_file/0010/3398464/HILDA-Statistical-Report2019.pdf