Improving housing outcomes for young people leaving out-of-home care

Examining housing, homelessness, mental health, alcohol and drug and juvenile justice service usage pathways for out-of-home care (OHC) leavers in Victoria and Western Australia.

Undertaken by researchers from RMIT University, Curtin University and Monash University, from the AHURI Inquiry: Inquiry into enhancing the coordination of housing supports for individuals leaving institutional settings.

During the study period, 534 care leavers (29%) made applications for public housing as the primary applicant; of these, 158 (30%) received an independent tenancy. To avoid homelessness, more than half of the young people returned to their family of origin, which was not usually considered a ‘safe’ option or one that would promote wellbeing.

Key Points

  • More than half the 1,848 Victorian care leavers in this study accessed homelessness services in the four years after leaving care, while one in three had multiple homeless experiences.
  • Specialist homeless services (SHS) are commonly used as the first type of accommodation after leaving care and these services are used as a stepping stone to longer term housing.
  • Leaving care planning processes are limited and, in many cases, nonexistent, meaning care leavers are ill-prepared to live independently at the age of 18 years.


Read the web report here.