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Youth Support Impact

Extending support to out-of-home youth

Young people in state care begin transitioning out of the system at age 15, regardless of whether they are able-bodied or economically stable. Once they turn 18, they exit the system for good, often without housing or financial support.

For many young Australians, the absence of this vital support structure increases the risk of homelessness, unemployment and more. Deloitte Access Economics has been providing evidence-based analysis to help extend the age of young people in state care – creating positive outcomes for out-of-home youth.

Home Stretch is a group of concerned organisations and individuals who believe an option should be available for youth to remain in out-of-home care until the age of 21. Its vision is to give young people in state care the extended care option and provide them with the platform they need to make the right start – and enjoy a better, long-term life. 


Paul McDonald, Chair of Home Stretch, explained in a 2022 ABC News interview, “Young people in state care should have a place they call home into their early adulthood. All we’re asking of the state is to do what any good parent does. And that is, parent these young people until they’re ready to go.”

"The Home Stretch campaign has tirelessly advocated to lift the exit age from 18 to 21. Influencing this important change at scale in such a short timeframe has been amazing.” 

Luke Condon, Partner, Financial Advisory

“When I finally left care it wasn’t so great. I struggled. Learning how to pay bills, rent and shopping and just being alone. We need that extended care till we’re 21 because you wouldn’t do it to your own kids, if you had your own, you’d still have them at home and keep them safe.”

Gina, former foster child. 

You’re on your own, kid

Prior to recent changes, young people were forced to leave the state-care system for good and fend for themselves as soon as they turned 18 – often without any economic support. These young people faced significantly increased rates of homelessness, teenage pregnancy, incarceration, drug and alcohol abuse and unemployment.

Could keeping young people in state care for longer help?

Over the last five years the Deloitte Access Economics team has been performing a series of social and economic analysis projects for Home Stretch to provide much-needed data to inform the case for change. 

The team initially developed a cost-benefit investment for five jurisdictions which tested the social, economic and lifetime benefits of increasing the age – the first of which focused on Victoria. This testing was supported with trials across different states, which allowed the team to compare each model and test whether the results were easily replicable.

The results were profound: discovering that extending care led to incredible benefits for both the young people and the government itself. These included significant government savings, individual and productivity benefits – as the young people who opted to stay in care experienced reduced homelessness, welfare, hospitalisation, incarceration rates, and drug and alcohol dependencies. Moreover, these results got stronger over time, further demonstrating the case for extend care.

Lasting impact

The Deloitte Access Economics team’s hard work paid off: national policy changes were made and the state care age was successfully extended to 21 years old in almost every state across Australia. This life-transforming change began with the Victorian Government formally extending its care (which includes foster, residential and kinship) in 2021. Every Australian state (except Northern Territory) has followed suit since.

The work was led by partners Ian Trevorah, Luke Condon and Sruthi Srikanthan. In recognition of the critical role the team played in the campaign, Deloitte received a Home Stretch Award in 2018. In November 2022, Ian Trevorah met with the Hon Leanne Linard MP, Queensland Minister for Children and Youth Justice, to celebrate the Queensland Government’s commitment to providing extended care to its vulnerable youth.

Ian said, “I'm very proud of the part Deloitte was able to play in supporting the campaign to make the case for change through the social and economic analysis conducted by the Deloitte Access Economics team led by Luke Condon and Sruthi Srikanthan.” This is a wonderful result for Australian youth everywhere.

“This was one of the most meaningful and impactful projects I’ve ever worked on. It has been wonderful to see successive state and territory governments adopt this important change.” 

Sruthi Srikanthan, Partner, Financial Advisory

Get in touch

Luke Condon

Partner, Deloitte Access Economics