October 21, 2016
State care age extension chance to do better
Methodist community support organisation Lifewise is welcoming an extension to the age young people can remain in care, but it warns the right services need to be available for them to transition into adult life.
In response to a widespread campaign over the past year, the Government has agreed to raise the age of ending state care from 17 to 21.
Lifewise chief executive Moira Lawler says that will affect about 500 young people a year, the majority Maori.
They will eventually have to move on, but there is chance for them to be far better prepared than they are now.
"How do they get access to education, how do they afford to do that. How do they get access to the kind of pre-training that might enable them to get a job. We're certainly very aware from our services in Auckland, how do they find affordable housing because in places where housing is expensive lots of young people end up staying with their folks for longer, well that's often not an option for these young people," she says.
Moira Lawyer says there needs to be different models for housing services for young people than those for older people and families.
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