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Fiona (age 21) and her baby have been living with her former carers but a social housing unit has become available. Fiona has told her caseworker that she does not have the bare essentials such as furniture, white goods and kitchen items and most of the baby equipment she has been using belongs to her carers.
|Expenditure Type||Used for||Items requested||Rationale||Cost|
|To assist in establishing a young person in suitable accommodation.||
Kitchen utensils $200
Baby furniture $1,500
Towels and bedding $650
This assistance will allow Fiona to live independently in her new home with her baby.
This example illustrates the principles of assessment and tailoring assistance to the level of need based on individual circumstances.
The Guidelines say that up to $2,380 may be provided to help care leavers establish themselves in accommodation. This figure is indicative of typical costs and relates to financial delegation levels.
In this instance, as should always be the case, the young person’s needs have been assessed first and the amount of assistance determined before looking at financial limits related to approval processes.
As the amount of assistance that Fiona needs is above $2,380, her plan will require out-of-guidelines approval. That means it will be passed on to a person with a higher delegation level to consider and authorise the payment. This may add slightly to the processing time which should be taken into consideration when submitting the financial plan. Remember timely decisions and approvals are important – Fiona needs these items in order to move into the flat she has been offered.
It is best to avoid financial plan templates that include set or standardized amounts for assistance with accommodation or education and training. They encourage generic plans that are not tailored and do not consider whether the young person may need more or less assistance.
Practice point – Although Fiona left care more than three years ago she is still able to access after care support including financial assistance. A person who has left care has the right to ask for, and receive, assistance at any DCJ Client Service Centre (CSC) regardless of which CSC or OOHC agency managed their placement.
01 Mar 2023
We acknowledge Aboriginal people as the First Nations Peoples of NSW and pay our respects to Elders past, present, and future.
Informed by lessons of the past, Department of Communities and Justice is improving how we work with Aboriginal people and communities. We listen and learn from the knowledge, strength and resilience of Stolen Generations Survivors, Aboriginal Elders and Aboriginal communities.
You can access our apology to the Stolen Generations.