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.
What should be done?
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 are we doing?
- Working with the government, young people and other services on Homestretch to provide greater support for young people leaving state care
- Working with ACOSS, Anglicare Australia and WA organisations on the Raise the Rate campaign to increase Youth Allowance
What you can do
- Educate yourself about issues affecting young people including youth mental health and youth homelessness
- Contact us to receive Anglicare’s notices about opportunities and events related to young people
- Connect with other people in WA interested in empowering young people by joining the Youth Affairs Council of WA
- Volunteer with Anglicare WA and work with us to empower young people
- Make a donation to Anglicare WA
- 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:
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)