|Case Study 2: Claire – care leaver student studying at Federation University Australia
Claire always wanted to study social work at university but believed that because she had a family at a young age and didn’t complete Year 12 she wasn’t in a position to do so. Claire had previously looked into the entry requirements for studying at University, but found the process to be intimidating and had thought that because she hadn’t completed secondary school there was little point in applying. Claire says that when she was younger the idea of studying at University was never discussed as a possibility and felt as though it was reserved for people who had high grades and the financial support of family.
After speaking to her case manager, Claire was informed that there was support available at university for people who had experienced growing up in out-of-home care. Claire made an appointment to speak with Fed Uni’s Care Leaver Coordinator, which enabled her to further explore her options to study. Claire discovered that there were others in similar positions, and was encouraged to hear that there was someone who understood how her time in care has impacted on her opportunities to study.
Claire was given lots of information about her options to study, including ways in which the university could support her, and was surprised to find out that she was eligible for a ‘fee-waiver’ to study a TAFE course in community development and social welfare. She found out that there were many entry points into university, and that completing a pathway course would assist her to gain entry into an undergraduate degree in social work. Claire received support from Raising Expectations to enrol in a certificate IV, which upon completion would enable her to gain entry in to the Bachelor of Social Work.
Claire has now completed her first year of the Bachelor of Social Work, and although she says that it hasn’t been an easy journey, she is proud of her many achievements thus far. Claire says