Why We Do What We Do


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


We are a socially inclusive, non-religious organisation who welcomes all young women who need our help. These include:

  • Young women ageing out of the out-of-home care system on or before their 18th birthday.
  • Young women leaving domestic violence who have suffered financial abuse.
  • Young migrant women who have little connection to the community.
  • Young women living with a disability.
  • Young women from the LGBTQIA+ community.
  • Young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.
  • Young women who simply ask for our help.

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

  • abuse
  • neglect
  • loss
  • witnessing a traumatic event
  • sudden and/or ongoing displacement

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

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

They may also lack:

  • healthy social connections
  • stable positive adults in their life to talk to