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Human Services Minister playing catch up after four years of botching child protection

  • Provision of care extension from age 18 to 21 already planned under Majority Labor Government
  • Vulnerable kids shouldn’t be caught up in the housing affordability crisis
  • Labor leading housing and homelessness by putting kids above politics

Labor has welcomed the Liberal Government’s attempt today to play catch up on extending care for vulnerable Tasmanians from 18 to 21.

Shadow Housing Minister Josh Willie said Labor lead the debate by three weeks ago announcing an extension of the Home Stretch program for young Tasmanians so they are able to stay in secure foster care.

“While we welcome the Human Services Minister’s promise today to allocate $3 million to extend care up to the age of 21, the Liberal Government has had four years to act in this important space and has done nothing,” Mr Willie said..
“The Liberals today committing to provide incentive payments to both foster carers and young Tasmanians who complete their Tasmanian Certificate of Education is fraught with danger.

“It suggests that foster carers don’t already care about the educational attainment of young people in their care and it does not acknowledge that many young people in Out Of Home Care have suffered trauma and can have learning difficulties.

“The Human Services Minister has so badly botched OOHC that she’s now trying to bribe foster carers and young people.

“By extending the Home Stretch program from 18 to 21, a Majority Labor Government will increase young Tasmanian’s opportunities into the future and not leave them vulnerable to homelessness.

“Unfortunately, the current out of home care system effectively gives up on these kids once they turn 18 and, within a year, many young people leaving state care will end up homeless.

“A Majority Labor Government will ensure the provision of care is extended to any young person needing or seeking support until they are 21 and by extending that care we will ensure young people who are in the system have a place to call home and the support they need for a positive future.”

Labor will commit $4.4 million to extending Home Stretch as part of its comprehensive $106 Housing Affordability Program.