Leaving care

There are a range of services and supports to assist young people, aged 16 to 21 years of age, to transition from care to independent living.

Better Futures

Better Futures supports care leavers, engaging with young people and their support networks, including case managers and care teams, early in their transition from care. For more information, see Better Futures

Better Futures, was previously known as Leaving Care Support Services, post care support, information and referral, Springboard, Aboriginal leaving care support services, and mentoring.

Home Stretch

Home Stretch is being delivered under the Better Futures model and provides young people leaving care with a more gradual and supported transition to adulthood.  

Through Home Stretch, young people and their kinship, foster or permanent carers will have the option of the young person remaining with their carer up to the age of 21 years, supported by an allowance. Young people transitioning to an independent living option, such as private rental, are eligible for an allowance to support them with their housing costs up to 21 years of age. 

For more information, see Home Stretch.

Leaving care planning

From 15 years of age young people in care should be participating in the development of their 15 plus Care and Transition plan. It is important that young people leaving care have the necessary support and skills to maximise their opportunities and feel ready and prepared to leave care.

See Leaving care planning.

Transition to Independent Living Allowance (TILA)

TILA is a Commonwealth allowance for young people aged 15 to 25 years who are leaving or who have already left care services. TILA is a payment of up to $1500 to cover basic costs such as education, counselling, medical costs, fridge, driver's licence or any other agreed items. 

Melbourne City Mission administers the TILA program in Victoria.

For more information about TILA eligibility, see the Department of Social Services website.

More information

For more information on leaving care, post care supports, provider contact list and permanent care orders see Leaving care on our Services website.