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WHY WE HELP

Thousands of young people in Australia leave out of home care at 18, with 50% of these care leavers ending up homeless, unemployed, in jail, or becoming a new parent within a year.

Youth who are transitioning to adulthood need to have well developed self-esteem and self-efficacy skills that equip them to manage relationships in multiple contexts, including education and employment settings, as well as with friends and family members. Often, youth in the out of care system have lived through multiple traumas and disruptive events by the time they begin their transition to adulthood. This can include abuse and/or neglect, multiple foster home placements, lack of continuity in education, and an array of losses of relationships (e.g., friends, family, and/or siblings). Their life experiences can create additional problems resulting in mental illness, substance abuse problems, and a lack of confidence. These challenges impact the emotional and social development of youth in out of home care as they transition into adulthood.

Research on the developing brains of adolescents and young adults points to the importance of understanding the “vulnerability of teens, and the significance of this stage and highlights the importance of positive, supportive relationships in the context of the continuing development of the adolescent brain. Ideally, youth in out of home care should have a place to call home upon emancipation from the child welfare system, with connections to caring adults who can provide support, including helping them access necessary resources and services. Research suggests that youth living in out of home care who have natural mentors during adolescence have improved young adult outcomes. Connections to non-parental adults through mentoring is reported to enhance the outcomes of out of home youth in education/employment, psychological well-being, and physical health. Youth who had the support of a mentor also demonstrated a decreased participation in unhealthy behaviours, such as unprotected sexual activity, alcohol and substance abuse, and delinquent activities.

When youth "age out" of the child welfare system with limited connections or without the support of positive, caring adults, they may have an increased risk of facing the following challenges:

  • unstable housing or homelessness 
  • lack of adequate primary and secondary education 
  • lack of employment and job training 
  • problems with physical health, behavioural health, and general well-being 
  • lack of access to health care 
  • justice system involvement 
  • lack of social connections

WHO WE HELP

Vulnerable young women 15-25 years of age transitioning from out of home care to independent living, who are statistically at high risk of homelessness within the first year of leaving care.

We are a socially inclusive, non-religious organisation who welcomes young women from all nationalities and religions.

We assist young women who are:

  • in foster care
  • in state care
  • living outside of the family home e.g. with a relative
  • living in a shelter or refuge and/or homeless
  • lacking a consistent place to call home
  • needing extra support in their transition into adulthood

These young women are likely to have experienced trauma due to:

  • abuse
  • neglect
  • loss
  • sudden and/or ongoing displacement

As a result of trauma these young women may be experiencing complex mental health issues such as:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • dysthymia
  • PTSD
  • social phobia
  • substance abuse and dependence
  • self-harm
  • suicidal thoughts/acts

They may also lack:

  • healthy social connections
  • a stable positive adult in their life to talk to

WHAT IS OUT OF HOME CARE?

Out of home care refers to the care of children and young people up to 18 years who are unable to live with their families (often due to child abuse and neglect). It involves the placement of a child or young person with alternate caregivers on a short- or long-term basis” (Victorian Department of Human Services, 2007).There are different types of care:

  • Residential care: placement is in a residential building whose purpose is to provide placements for children and where there are paid staff.
  • Family group homes: homes for children provided by a department or community-sector agency, which have live-in, non-salaried carers who are reimbursed and/or subsidised for the provision of care.
  • Home-based care: placement is in the home of a carer who is reimbursed for expenses for the care of the child. There are three categories of home-based care: relative or kinship care, foster care and other home-based out-of-home care.
  • Independent living: includes private board and lead tenant households.
  • Other: placements that do not fit into the above categories and unknown placement types. This may include boarding schools, hospital, hotels/motels and the defence forces. 

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The Warrior Woman Foundation is an Australian charity registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission at www.acnc.gov.au.
It is a Public Company Limited by Guarantee and Public Benevolent Institution.
The foundation is endorsed as a Deductible Gift Recipient and a Tax Concession Charity by the Australian Taxation Office.
All donations $2.00 and over are tax deductible.
The Warrior Woman Foundation holds an authority to fundraise under section 13A of the Charitable Fundraising Act 1991 with the Department of Fair Trading CFN/25631.
The Warrior Woman Foundation is accountable to its donors and subject to a constitution. It is governed by a volunteer board of community leaders representing a cross section of society.
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