This morning Ladder and the GWS GIANTS hosted the Minister for Families and Communities and Minister for Disability Services, the Hon Natasha Maclaren-Jones at the launch of the Your Choice, Your future program. From this month, young people in NSW will get additional support when they leave out-of-home care (OOHC). The Liberal and Nationals Government is delivering a record $100 million investment to help some of the most vulnerable get practical assistance until they turn 21.

The Your Choice, Your Future support package includes four key elements:

  • a new Staying on Allowance for carers to support more young people to remain with a stable, trusted carer until they turn 21.
  • a new Independent Living Allowance - a fortnightly payment of $250 for young people aged 18 until they turn 21.
  • an expansion of the Specialist Aftercare Program to provide support to more young people after care with complex needs in more areas.
  • recruiting more staff to provide support to young care leavers.

Minister for Families and Communities and Minister for Disability Services Natasha Maclaren-Jones said the payment will create stability for young people giving them more opportunities to achieve their goals.

We made this landmark announcement late last year and worked hard to ensure that eligible young people can receive their funds as soon as possible so that they can focus on their transition to adulthood,” Mrs Maclaren-Jones said.

For many young people in NSW, this will make a huge difference in their day-to-day living. It will allow care leavers to focus on things like employment or further education”.

Ladder CEO Stephanie De Campo said that Your Choice Your Future will make a tangible difference to the everyday lives of some of the most vulnerable young people and give them a better chance at future independence.

 “The Ladder Step Up Sydney program is successfully supporting young people with an out- of-home care to transition to independence and live fulfilling lives. The program supports young people in the areas of independent living skills, self-efficacy, health and wellbeing and education, employment and training.”

The Your Choice, Your Future package builds on the support already available to care leavers including any cultural, education, training, health and/or accommodation needs identified in a young person’s After Care Plan. 

More information on Your Choice, Your Future and other support programs can be found here.