Investing in Young People

“Being at Foyer changed my life – I’ve grown in confidence so much from a seventeen year old with a new born, scared and pretty much alone, to someone who was trusted to help out with new mums.”

-Former Foyer Oxford resident

Our Experience

We believe that by investing in the young people of today, we’re building a strong foundation for tomorrow. Young people need access to affordable housing, educational and employment opportunities, and social support to gain independence and transition into adulthood. Positive relationships and strong social networks are vital for young people to grow and contribute to the community.

Anglicare WA supports over 10,000 children and young people each year with social, emotional and financial support. 

Foyer Oxford, run by a consortium of Anglicare WA, Foundation Housing and North Metropolitan TAFE, is a nationally accredited accommodation service for young people, founded on the idea that ending youth homelessness can be achieved through education, training and sustainable employment. 93% of the 340 young people who have exited Foyer so far have left with a job or enrolled in education.

Anglicare WA is working with the WA Government to trial a new approach to supporting young people aged 18-21 as they transition out of State care.

What are the main issues?

  • Young people leaving out-of-home care experience higher rates of homelessness (35%) and unemployment (29%) than other young people.1
  • The current rate of Newstart and Youth Allowance is inadequate, at $40 a day, to cover food, rent, transportation and all other expenses.
  • Young people have limited employment options. The unemployment rate for young people is 14.5%, compared to the overall rate of 5.9%.2
  • 1 in 4 young people are experiencing a mental health condition.
  • Young people are provided with few opportunities to engage in discussions about their economic, social and environmental futures and seldom given chances to express their preferences outside of adult-dominated institutions.

1Based on 2009 CREATE Foundation survey, http://thehomestretch.org.au/learnmore/
2Dept. Jobs and Small Business Labour Market Information Portal (2018) and Brotherhood of St Laurence (2019)

What should be done?

Raise rates

Looking for work is virtually impossible if you’re homeless or hungry. Immediately increase the rate of Newstart and Youth Allowance to ensure young people have access to a decent quality of life while studying, training and looking for employment.

Create pathways to education and employment

Employment options for young people have been declining for two decades. Many young people are struggling to acquire the skills they need to access current and future employment opportunities in a changing labour market. Develop creative pathways for learning and development for young people, including greater support for young people to enrol in Vocational Education and Training (VET) and other programs to provide them with the skills they need to gain current and future employment.

Lift the leaving care age 

The State Government has committed to trialling a system to provide enhanced support to vulnerable young people aged 18-21 transitioning from out-of-home care to independence. Anglicare WA is working with a coalition of partners and the State Government to deliver the trial. Any changes to the leaving care system should be focused on empowering young people as they transition to adulthood. 

Youth Homelessness Strategy

Develop a comprehensive Youth Homelessness Strategy that focuses on prevention and early intervention, fosters coordination amongst youth services, strengthens the capacity of the youth sector, trains youth workers in mental health and alcohol and other drugs (AOD), and supports young people to build healthy relationships and strong connections to the community.

Community-based mental health

Support young people to manage their mental health through a range of community-based services. Focus on prevention and early intervention, working alongside young people to manage their mental health. Provide mental health support that can be embedded in schools and community services.

Ensure cultural and diversity safety

Support services for young people which are welcoming, open, inclusive and free of judgement. Young people should have access to services that are culturally-safe and appropriate, respectful and value diversity. 

“Nothing about us, without us”

Advocate that consultation with young people is an intrinsic part of any decision-making process that is likely to have an impact on young people and their future. 

What you can do

Learn

Join

Speak out

  • Talk to friends and family about the importance of investing in young people in WA
  • Organise an event in your area to empower young people to speak out, and speak for themselves, about issues that affect them
  • Contact your elected officials in the WA Parliament and the Australian Parliament and tell them you support young people in WA
  • Share your thoughts on social media:

Feeling lost?

Anglicare WA offers a wide range of services and with more than 50 service locations across WA, we’re never too far away.

If you’re not sure where to go, call us on 1300 11 44 46.