Income support receipt for young people transitioning from out-of-home care
Jul 2, 2021
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has recently released a report, “Income support receipt for young people transitioning from out-of-home care” (OOHC). The national report aims to build the evidence-base on transition outcomes for young people from OOHC by bringing together Australian Government (Centrelink) and national state and territory out-of-home care administrative data to examine income support and other payment characteristics by these young people. Bringing together this data provides one dimension of useful information of young peoples’ transition to independence able to inform better policy, practice and support services.
Data from the report reveals receipt of unemployment, parenting and disability support payments of OOHC young people in the study were 4-5 times as high as for other young people and 4 times more likely to stay on payments for longer with nearly 3 in 5 of these young people receiving income support in young adulthood. Income support receipt for the OOHC study population was higher for those primarily in residential/group home care and higher for those with 6 or more placements.
Children who are, or have been, in OOHC can face higher levels of vulnerability across several dimensions of their wellbeing, both during and after they leave care. This likely reflects the significant life disruptions that led to their placement in care, wider exposure to disadvantage, or experiences during their time in OOHC. However, it is important to note that a sense of security, stability and social support are strongly associated with better long-term outcomes after leaving care. The report seeks to build the evidence-base to inform better policy, practice and support services that support this group.