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Green plan for the vulnerable young

By johnboy - 6 October 2010 18

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The Greens’ Meredith Hunter has launched a discussion paper on improved support for young people transitioning out of care.

Intriguingly Ms Hunter says that care in the ACT turfs the kids out when they turn 18 where other States wait until 21 or even 25. When they leave care:

    — 64% do not have a leaving care plan
    — 35% are homeless in the first year of leaving care
    — 46% of boys are involved in the juvenile justice system
    — 29% are unemployed

[Joy Burch’s office has been in touch to point out that this data is Australia wide]

The paper has five proposals:

    1. Young People in Care receive material and non-material support from the ages of 15 to 25 years
    2. Individual plans for all young people transitioning out of care
    3. Every young person leaving care has the right to the possession, free of charge, of any personal material held by the Department or other bodies, such as passports, photos and birth certificates
    4. Establishment of a specific after-care support service in the non-government sector to support young people leaving care
    5. Secure specific funding pool for the purpose of financial supports for young people transitioning out of care in the ACT

Green proposals for youth transition from care

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18 Responses to
Green plan for the vulnerable young
georgesgenitals 5:28 pm 07 Oct 10

housebound said :

Has anyone read the paper to see if it is worth the paper it’s written on, or are we just having a slanging match for the fun of it?

The latter, I think.

housebound 5:21 pm 07 Oct 10

Has anyone read the paper to see if it is worth the paper it’s written on, or are we just having a slanging match for the fun of it?

georgesgenitals 4:41 pm 07 Oct 10

Captain RAAF said :

Evidence….damn you! Well put it this way, do you think they’d come out worse off or no better? Be honest please.

Many skills to be learned in the Army (technical, Human resources etc) as well as social skills and interaction and don’t forget discipline and respect for ones self and others.

You don’t see a lot of ex-soldiers resorting to a life of crime and with the exception of the odd bitter and twisted individual, you’ll struggle to fine one that would not recommend it.

My boy, if he looks like being happy to cool his heels at home for a moment too long will find himself on a bus to Kapookastan!

You are also eligible for the highly prestigious vacuum-cleaner-up-the-arse program at Duntroon.

Captain RAAF 4:31 pm 07 Oct 10

Evidence….damn you! Well put it this way, do you think they’d come out worse off or no better? Be honest please.

Many skills to be learned in the Army (technical, Human resources etc) as well as social skills and interaction and don’t forget discipline and respect for ones self and others.

You don’t see a lot of ex-soldiers resorting to a life of crime and with the exception of the odd bitter and twisted individual, you’ll struggle to fine one that would not recommend it.

My boy, if he looks like being happy to cool his heels at home for a moment too long will find himself on a bus to Kapookastan!

astrojax 10:53 am 07 Oct 10

look, we don’t even care for our youth, how do we expect the environment to cope with constant abuse? good on ya, greens – this is something that should have been appropriately managed since about 1960…

but what will actually become of this? is it to sit and fester, gathering dust, on some administrative bookshelf and meanwhile more icepoets [thanks for sharing the story, btw] will propagate?

Captain RAAF said :

Leave care…straight into the Army for 4 years.

They will come out the other end better prepared for life than even their peers from ‘normal’ family environments will.

um, evidence, goodly captain? what do you mean by ‘better’??

sirocco 10:53 am 07 Oct 10

Captain RAAF said :

sirocco said :

Also, what about RAAF & RAN people like yourself? Does that mean you, yourself, are not qualified to respond to your own post?

I was a soldier once, and young.

Hey! Capt RAAF! Snap out of it soldier! Don’t get all misty-eyed, thousand-yard-stare on us! We might believe there’s a compassionate human under that hardened fascist exterior!

🙂

(just jokes right? … don’t kill me)

Captain RAAF 10:28 am 07 Oct 10

sirocco said :

Also, what about RAAF & RAN people like yourself? Does that mean you, yourself, are not qualified to respond to your own post?

I was a soldier once, and young.

Jim Jones 10:10 am 07 Oct 10

Captain RAAF said :

Leave care…straight into the Army for 4 years.

Service guarantees citizenship. Would you like to know more?

fgzk 9:26 am 07 Oct 10

“Leave care…straight into the Army for 4 years.”

What if we don’t hold our tongues. Will you shoot us. Maybe just beat us into submission. You definitely will divide us up into categories and assign us all, our positions. You may even begin to dictate what shall be normal from now on.

What things in this life shall you prepare us for if we don’t hold our tongues..?

How to kill.

sirocco 9:04 am 07 Oct 10

Wow Capt RAAF, you got a real “us & them” thing going on there don’t you?

Also, what about RAAF & RAN people like yourself? Does that mean you, yourself, are not qualified to respond to your own post?

The army might be a good idea for some but not necessarily everyone so until you set up your own tinpot dictatorship when you can reinstate conscription I’m guessing people will still have a choice

georgesgenitals 8:38 am 07 Oct 10

Captain RAAF said :

Leave care…straight into the Army for 4 years.

They will come out the other end better prepared for life than even their peers from ‘normal’ family environments will.

Anyone that gets on here that hasn’t been in the Army is not qualified to respond and should hold their tongue.

You’re starting to get the hang of this RiotACT thing, aren’t you…

Captain RAAF 8:11 am 07 Oct 10

Leave care…straight into the Army for 4 years.

They will come out the other end better prepared for life than even their peers from ‘normal’ family environments will.

Anyone that gets on here that hasn’t been in the Army is not qualified to respond and should hold their tongue.

sepi 10:12 pm 06 Oct 10

I thought this mess had been sorted out years ago.

Of course we should have support for foster kids and wards of the state who turn 18.

Currently they either stay on at the foster parents’ place, yet the foster parents support payments cease, or else they are given a one bedroom government flat and the dole.

Icepoet 6:21 pm 06 Oct 10

I wholeheartedly agree that we need to do as much as we can to help vulnerable young people in Canberra.

I was in foster care in the ACT in the mid 90’s and was kicked out of care at the age of 16, thanks to Family Services who decided that since I was eligible for the ‘living away from home allowance’ I perfectly able to take care of myself – despite having no family support whatsoever and few friends.

I was given a bedsit in a large group of government flats. The door had a great big hole kicked in it – which had not been repaired. The kitchen cupboards were full of bongs (and 1 broken pot) and the mattress I was given to sleep on was stained with blood and urine. That was all that was in the flat.

To make matters worse, the previous tennant of my unit was a drug dealer, so I endured visits at all hours of the night from junkies wanting to score and I didn’t have a working telephone (should I have needed to call the police or anyone else for assistance) as Telstra had refused to connect my phone as I was under the age of 18 – this was later rectified by an adult friend of a friend who rang them and pointed out that it was illegal for them to refuse to provide me with a phone service.

The Salvos provided me with some curtains and a few pots and pans. I bought a plate, knife, fork, spoon and cup with my own money and some friends donated a towel, some sheets, a doona and pillow. I was in college at the time and the college gave me some notebooks and pens so that I could complete my assignments.

The living away from home allowance at that time was around $200 per fortnight. I paid $50 in rent and survived (barely) on the remaining $150 per fortnight. I frequently had to choose between paying for a bus ticket to college or using the money for food. Often I survived living for 3 or 4 days living off a single can of food, either because I’d had to pay a bill or had an unexpected expense occur during the fortnight. I received no medical assistance and no mental health assistance. At 16 (and not being particularly worldly), I had no idea how systems such as medicare worked and I was too shy, embarrassed and depressed to ask about government services or to approach charities to ask for assistance.

I managed to complete my year 12 certificate and gained at place at university, only to fail almost all of my courses due to ongoing mental health issues and I was eventually forced to drop out.

It took me nearly 10 years and with the help of some fantastic health professionals (who I was finally able to engage with in my mid twenties), to overcome my illness and my experiences and I have now returned to university and am on track to completing honours for my second degree, opening up the possibility of further study towards a Masters or PHD.

I’m not writing this asking anyone to feel sorry for me (there is no reason to), nor am I trying to say that my experience was the worst thing in the world for a young person to endure – I have no doubt there were in fact many young people who were in far worse situations than me. I wrote this because I wanted to point out that there are young people who end up in situations like this who are not destined to become the drug dealers and dole bludgers of our society and need all the help we can offer to both get up and stay up on their feet.

What young people need most is support and care and (as The Greens are arguing), services and people that can help them to fulfil their potential so that they can lead happy and productive lives and have children and families that are also happy and healthy. Which, in turn contributes to our society. Support should not end at some arbitrary date on a calendar with no regard for the individual or their specific circumstances.

Grail 4:35 pm 06 Oct 10

“Normal” parents will provide some form of care for their children (and indeed their children’s children) well beyond the immediate habitation of that child in the parents’ home.

In cases where the Government is choosing to take guardianship of a child, the onus is on the Government to arrange for that post-adolescent care or a substitute for that care to be in place. Support groups, “Lifeline” like support lines, networking events, etc should all be considered as part of post-ward care.

Yes, I’m a stinking commie. Yes, I wish we could just stop “bad people” being parents in the first place. We as a community supported the parents in having these children, and stepped in to take over primary care when the parents failed. We wouldn’t pick up survivors of a boating accident and then having carried them to within 500m of the shore, toss them overboard and tell them, “you’re on your own now.” Why do we do the same for state wards?

Won’t somebody think of the children? 🙂

Though I have to admit, the one time that argument won’t work is when there are actual children involved.

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