Home Stretch WA - accessing Home Stretch

Home Stretch WA provides young people leaving Out of Home Care in Western Australia with the option to continue to receive support up until the age of 21.
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How to access Home Stretch in WA

Referral is a Choice!

The referral process to Home Stretch WA has been co-designed with young people, their carers and other support people. It is centred around the idea of providing the young person with an informed choice about whether to engage in extended supports through Home Stretch WA.

A young person should be advised of their choices around leaving care supports early in planning, and in developmentally appropriate ways. This includes providing them with information about their choice to engage in Home Stretch WA from when they turn 15 years of age. Referrals cannot be made to Home Stretch WA service providers until the young person reaches 17 years old. 

How do young people get referred?

All referrals are to be made by a District Office, either by a young person’s case manager or the relevant leaving care team member.

The referral form is a simple process that provides basic information about a young person’s circumstances and their potential level of support. While the referral form doesn’t require a young person to sign it, they must provide consent to the referral being made.

The completed referral form is sent to the relevant Home Stretch WA service provider who will allocate a Transition Coach to follow up the referral and invite a young person to meet for an initial information session about Home Stretch WA.

Any eligible young person, with assistance from their carer or other support people, can request to be referred to a Home Stretch WA service provider at any District Office.

A Transition Coach will follow up for a maximum of six weeks to engage the young person. As part of this engagement, the Transition Coach will seek input and guidance from a young person’s carer or other support people to inform how best to offer the service to them.

When can young people be referred?

A young person can be referred from any time after they reach the age of 17 years, and up to the time they reach the age of 20 years and 9 months.

If a young person is older than 20 years of age, they should be encouraged to explore alternative support services, either through the current Leaving Care Service providers or services that are specialist to their current needs (e.g. homelessness service, mental health service). 

Home Stretch WA is a service offering from ages 18 until a young person turns 21 years old.

What if a young person would benefit from Home Stretch WA but is unwilling to agree to the referral?

It can be frustrating to know that a young person may benefit from supports provided by Home Stretch WA but is unwilling to even consider it as an option. Giving the young person the opportunity to review the Home Stretch WA service information and encouraging them to talk through the option with people in their support circle are helpful ways to support them to make the right choice for them.

It is also important to be clear about the alternative leaving care supports available to the young person after they reach the age of 18 years and encourage them to make an informed choice from all their options. Validating and supporting a young person’s choice and agency is an important part of building positive help-seeking and self-reliance.

Home Stretch WA service providers will aim to embed Transition Coaches in each District Office (for a few hours every fortnight). This provides an opportunity for a young person who is ambivalent or unsure of whether Home Stretch WA is for them to meet in a more informal space and find out more about the program. 

What if a young person declines Home Stretch WA but later changes their mind?

The young person will have the option to request a referral into Home Stretch WA through any District Office up to the time they reach the age of 20 years and 9 months.

It is the responsibility of the Home Stretch WA provider to let them know how to reconnect, and also to let the referrer in the District Office know of the same information.

If a young person returns to a District Office after the age of 18 years to seek assistance, the district duty officer or leaving care team should offer the young person the opportunity to be referred to Home Stretch WA.