More than 100 young South Australians have been able to stay at home with their families beyond age 18 thanks to a Marshall Liberal Government program extending foster and kinship care payments to age 21.
Since the initiative was launched in January 2019, the Stability in Family Based Care Program has supported 101 young people to stay at home with their families beyond age 18, with a further 142 young people to be assessed for eligibility over the next 12 months.
The Stability in Family Based Care Program allows family-based carers to access carer payments to support the young person until they turn 21. Carers of young people who turned 18 after 1 July 2018 are eligible to receive fortnightly payments of $775.80.
Previously, government financial support was only provided for children up to 18 years of age.
Minister for Child Protection Rachel Sanderson said the extended payments were helping young people to be supported and stay home for longer.
“Our Stability in Family Based Care Program is giving children – and now young adults – continued financial support when they need it most,” said Minister Sanderson.
“We know that children who are supported in the family home past the age of 18 are going to do better in terms of their education, employment, friendships and importantly, their wellbeing.
“The program is supporting our most vulnerable young people get a better start to life and ensures our state’s selfless foster and kinship carers do not have to shoulder the cost burden on themselves.”
Kinship carers Bev and Ron said the access to carer payments helped them provide the best opportunities and support to their grandchildren.
Bev said she wants to make sure foster, kinship carers and young people are aware of the program.
“I want to increase awareness in the community about this program, as pensioners ourselves with limited resources, we know all too well that every bit counts,” said Bev.
Melanie aged 18, is currently studying a Certificate III in Visual Arts at Marden Senior College and she is receiving the additional payments to age 21. The youngest child, who will be 18 in August will also become eligible for payments.
“Courses are expensive and I want Mel to receive the best educational opportunities available to position herself well for the future,” said Bev.
“It’s great that through this payment we’re able to help Mel buy materials for her art and not have to worry, it gives her a better chance to succeed.”
The Stability in Family Based Care Program is just one of a range of supports available for young people to access.
For more information about carer payments for young people to age 21 visit the Department for Child Protection website.