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Raising Expectations: increasing the number of young people leaving care and going onto higher education

We want to get more young people in care or who have left care to think

about going on to TAFE or University


18 or over, left care and want to study? (open to mature age care leavers too)

In care, at school and thinking about study?

Supporting a young person in care or who has left care?


Jodie tells her story -  leaving care and going on to study Nursing at Federation University 


18 or over and interested in studying or are studying at Federation University and La Trobe University

There are supports available to help you with:

  • Deciding what course might suit you and how to apply
  • Meeting the costs of study and accommodation
  • Linking into other services and supports such as transition programs, mentoring programs, literacy support and counselling services
  • Preparing for and feeling confident about your studies

Want to study at Uni and think your ATAR is too low?  Have a look at Fed Uni’s Open Access Scheme. For more information go to

For more information, services and supports for care leavers studying at:

Federation Uni:  Contact Pearl Goodwin-Burns, Care Leaver Coordinator on 03 5327 9496 or or

Campuses at Ballarat, Gippsland, Wimmera and Berwick

La Trobe Uni 1300 135 045 or visit or live online chat visit or visit the Future Students Centre, Monday to Friday 9am-5pm (Ground Floor David Myers Central Building, Bundoora Campus:  Includes information on financial, personal, accommodation support and a whole lot more.

Campuses at Albury-Wodonga, Bendigo, Bundoora, Collins Street (CBD, Franklin Street (CBD), Mildura and Shepparton

Coming up:  La Trobe Uni is developing a Guide for Care Leavers considering Higher Education. Due for release in 2017. 


Young people at school who are thinking about studying at TAFE or University

Things to think about 

  • Subjects you like and are good at
  • Things you love to do outside school
  • Spending a day at TAFE or Uni to find out about courses / areas of study
  • Preparing to meet the entry requirements
  • Talk to school career counsellor or access free career counselling through the CEAV
  • Talk to teachers, year coordinators, transition/pathway officers, other adults you trust, friends

Carers, workers and people who support young people in and who have left care

Carers, workers and people who support young people in care at school - contact or 03 9094 3509 to find out more about:

  • how your school can help you and your young person
  • visits to TAFEs, unis and open days
  • things to know when applying for courses
  • what other supports, services and information are available  

DHHS has developed a series of podcasts; Helping Carers to Help Kids.  This one is about leaving care and provides insights from young adults who have left care vicgovdhhs/sets/podcast-series


Education Forum for all carers

On 1 June 2017  the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare and Permanent Care and Adoptive Families is holding an Education Forum for carers at the Victoria University Convention Centre in Melbourne CBD.  This is a free event aimed at all carers across Victoria. The forum aims to:

  • assist carers to better support the learning and education needs of the young people they care for
  • inform carers of recent changes and increased support in the Victorian schools environment
  • support carers through networking, shared learning and experiences

We want to gain a better understanding and idea of the topics that interest you.  To help us make this event useful for you, please complete the survey at

Coming up:  An Education Information Guide for Carers is being developed by the Centre for Excellence and the Department of Education and Training. Expected to be released bhy end Term 2.


Training and Education for carers and practitioners


We are getting great feedback about our half day workshop - Strategies to support learning for young people who have experienced trauma.  The workshop is designed for professionals and carers who want to better understand trauma, its effects on behaviour and impact on learning. The workshop gives you practical strategies you can apply to encourage positive engagement to support young people in their learning.  For more information and to register contact


You will find information about:


The Raising Expectations project

Posters and brochures have been distributed to over 140 high schools, community service organisations, local learning and employment networks, foster carers, kinship carers and organisations that support and work with young people and their carers.

If you would like a printed copy of the poster and/or the brochure, please contact

 You can view a full copy of the poster here  and the brochure here

Why we need this project

In Victoria, over 8500 children and young people are in care, including foster, kinship and residential care.  This number has doubled over the last 10 years.

Young people in care often experience trauma, instability and disruption, which impacts on their ability to learn.  This means they are are usually behind their peers academically and are far less likely to complete secondary school or attend university.

Who is involved

This three year project (until June 2018) is funded by the Sidney Myer Fund. The Centre, Federation University Australia and La Trobe University are collaborating with Anglicare and MacKillop Family Services on this project which aims to improve educational outcomes for young people in, and transitioning from, out of home care.  

About the project

Currently, only a small number of young people leaving care go on to university.  Not because they aren't capable, but because we don't give them the support and encouragement they need to go on to higher education. Aspirations for young people in care to go on to university are generally low, with less than 6% going onto university.This project recognises the particular issues and challenges faced by care leavers in going on to and completing higher and tertiary education. 

Through the Raising Expectations project, we aim to:

  • lift educational aspirations and achievements of young people leaving care
  • Strengthen supports and services available to young people so they can succeed once they are there

Key strategies are to:

  • Improve the existing knowledge and skills base of the people supporting young care leavers and equipping them with the information and resources to successfully engage with, identify and support care leavers to pursue educational pathways towards and within tertiary education.  
  • Implement awareness raising programs and outreach services for students, carers and educators to encourage care leaver participation in tertiary education.  
  • Provide tailored ‘wrap around’ services to support students are being developed and both universities will be working with their TAFE partners to improve tertiary transitions.

In addition to working closely with Federation University, La Trobe University, Anglicare and MacKillop, the Centre is working with a range of stakeholders across the welfare and education sectors including DET, DHHS, Community Service Organisations, organisations and service supporting young people in and post care, Child and Youth Area Partnerships, CREATE, Local Learning and Employment Networks (LLENs), carers and carer support services. The importance of this project is clearly recognised by all stakeholders.  

Project Fact Sheet - Update 27 July 2016


Resources; financial, study, career and other supports

The brochure here has a list of supports and services and useful resources for you.  

Zero Fee TAFE courses.  If you are under 21 and leaving care.  For more information 

Youth Central Website - career/ study options includes: 

  • Information about support for care leavers who want to study 
  • Our Career profiles - Over 200 interviews about the jobs people do
  • Our Planning your career pages - Tips on how to think about what job you want
  • Career Bullseyes - Charts showing school subjects and the jobs they can lead to and levels of study/training required

Good Universities Guide website - separate tabs with information on:

  • Courses – by area of study and subject
  • Scholarships – in the support field search on allowance, scholarship, accommodation, equity and supplementary and target fields - search on educational disadvantage
  • Universities in Victoria
  • Career search and job guide – allows you to look at and test lots of different career study options

My Future Website - lots of information about courses, career profiles, industries, companies, career insights.  You just need to create a username and password for free access to the site.

Sortli (Sort Out Your Life) App - free mobile app for care leavers on where to get help and support. Download from Apple App Store or Google Play

LOOKOUT Education Support Centres 

The LOOKOUT Centres are designed to boost the capacity of schools, Child Protection Practitioners and Community Service Organisations to improve educational outcomes for children and young people living in out-of-home care (foster, kinship and residential care). Check the Department of Education and Training webpage for more information.

Navigator Pilot Service

The Navigator Service pilot supports young people aged 12-17 who are not connected to school or are at risk of disengaging. The aim is to increase the number of young people connected to school and engaged in learning. Navigator is not being implemented across Victoria. Check the Department of Education and Training website for more information.

University Open Days and Expos

University open days generally run from May through to August. Dates for 2017 will be posted as they become available.  Call the unis on their Future Students number to find out what might be available to you.  For more information on the VCE and Careers Expo in May 2017.

For more information about any of the above contact

Joanna Humphries at  Phone:  9094 3509 






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