A new state government pilot program is helping young people in care with “complex needs” to transition smoothly into adult life in Whyalla.
The Transition to Adult Life Intensive Pilot Program has been launched in the Upper Spencer Gulf cities because of the high proportion of young people in care there.
Young people with complex needs will be assigned case managers, as well as peer mentors, who will work with them to tackle life skills and needs including housing, health, education, employment, finances and parenting, as well as connection to culture, country and community.
At least 45 young people aged 15 to 25 years old who have been in care for more than six months and who are transitioning to adult life within the next 12 months will be offered the intensive support service.
Child Protection Minister Rachel Sanderson said the program would be “invaluable” for young people who faced multiple barriers transitioning to adult life from residential or commercial care.
“We know that young people leaving care often experience poor post-care outcomes for education, employment, financial security, mental health and accommodation,” she said.
“We also know Aboriginal young people are much less likely to stay connected to family, community and culture.
“This is why I am excited the Child Protection Department, with two reputable community organisations, has launched this pilot program to ensure we are doing all we can to support young people to thrive.
“My aim is to provide every opportunity for young people in South Australia’s child protection system to flourish and have life choices – and this pilot program will help them do just that.”
Latest figures from last year show 81 of the 495 young people in care in the Iron Triangle were aged 15 and older.