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Care Leaver Data Collection

Two days ago, I moved a motion in the Assembly calling for better support for young people who ‘age out’ of the care and protection system when they turn 18 – putting them at risk of homelessness, joblessness, etc. I specifically asked the government to ‘improve data collection on young people who have exited care to allow for robust evaluation of post-care support services’. Without such data, we will never know what is working or what needs improving. Labor and the Greens rejected this request, and the minister stated that collecting data on care leavers is too hard.

I responded today by reminding the minister that a 2018 discussion paper from her own government emphasises the importance of data collection on care leavers. I also reminded her that young people who have felt valued in government care do not need to be ‘forced’. Lastly, I reminded her that the UK’s Staying Close program provides youth who have exited residential care with ten hours of ongoing contact each week, making it easy to track how they are going. Care leavers need to be given a supportive network instead of being abandoned, as too often happens now.

Click on the arrow button to read my speech.


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