Raising Expectations – Improving Educational Outcomes for Young People Leaving Care

Transforming policy reforms into practice in the statutory family – a case study of Victorian leaving care initiatives
Friday 27 July


Joanna Humphries
Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare

Studies show that aspirations and expectations for young people in care to go on to university are generally low. Although young people who have been in care are capable of progressing to higher education, they often lack the support to do so. To set care leavers up for a happy and fulfilling life, they should have access to the same higher education opportunities as their peers who have not been in care.
Raising Expectations is a 3-year project funded by the Sidney Myer Fund. The project involves a cross-sectoral partnership between the child and family services sector – led by the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare – Federation University Australia and La Trobe University. The aim of the initiative is to encourage young people in care, and those who support them (carers, practitioners and teachers) to recognise university as an achievable education pathway.
The project team has developed a range of training, resources and services to support care leavers at university and to better inform and support carers, practitioners and educators working with young people in care and those who have left it.
The initiative is breaking new ground and will potentially lead to better informed and more effective policy and program responses to the educational challenges faced by young people in care. Care leavers, carers, OOHC workforce and educators are all likely to benefit and the project team is expecting that more care leavers will go on to university.