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Leaving care does not mean having to leave home. Living in a stable, supportive and loving environment with a carer can continue past the age of 18.
The Staying on Allowance supports this arrangement, by paying carers to continue looking after young people after the age of 18. Young people must consent to the carer receiving the Staying on Allowance and should be made aware they could instead receive the Independent Living Allowance themselves, but at a lower rate.
Every effort should be made to ensure the young person is in a safe, trusted placement prior to approving the Staying on Allowance as an appropriate support for the young person.
In some situations, you may need to support discussions about living arrangements between the young person and their carer or family or kin, especially where there is good will and interest in doing so but there are some worries or barriers to making this happen. Consider using the Living Arrangement Agreement discussion guide below to assist.
Where a young person can remain with their carer or another significant person in their life such as an aunty or cousin, this is highly encouraged. However, some young people will need support with accommodation where this staying put is not an option. Consider local housing support products and packages available for teenagers and young adults to help them find and maintain affordable accommodation.
Finding accommodation can be difficult, especially if a young person is also finishing school or looking for employment. Leaving a home without support can result in couch surfing, ending up in a shelter or homelessness.
DCJ is dedicated to funding services to support all people in need of housing support or facing homelessness. This includes ‘Housing Pathways’ and other options of private rental assistance, subsidies and temporary accommodation.
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.