Home Stretch WA - Information for Foster and Family Carers about Staying On

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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Staying On information

How are foster or family carers supported by Home Stretch WA?

A young person who chooses to take up the Home Stretch WA offer and wishes to continue in a stable living arrangement with their foster or family carer (where the carer agrees) will be supported through a Staying On Agreement (the Agreement). The Agreement is an opportunity to identify and map out the supports and resources needed by the carer and young person to make the living arrangement successful.

While the focus of Home Stretch WA support is around the young person and their needs, under the Agreement a carer has access to one-to-one support and links to services through the Staying On Facilitator as part of the Home Stretch WA offering. However, this support is less intensive than the supports typically provided to a foster carer of a young person in care (i.e. under the age of 18 years).

What if there are other children living with the same foster or family carer?

A young person who is supported through a Staying On Agreement in a home that houses other children in care will be assisted to gain a Working with Children Check, as a requirement of all adults staying in a foster home.

Where the carer is supported by other foster care supports through the Department of Communities or a Community Service Organisation, the Staying On Agreement will include consideration of how those issues and existing supports provided might align with that provided through Home Stretch WA.

Can Home Stretch WA fund an extension of a specialised foster care placement or provide an interim payment for carers transitioning to become a carer under the NDIS?

The Home Stretch WA Staying On Subsidy is not sufficient to cover the costs of a specialised foster care arrangement, nor has it been designed to provide a temporary subsidy payment to accommodate any delays in a young person’s transition to being supported by the NDIS. It also cannot be used as an additional or supplementary payment to another carer payment.

In these situations, the District Office may choose to work in partnership with the carer, support agencies and NDIS provider to resolve the gap through an individualised agreement outside of the Home Stretch WA supports.

Can a young person return to a past foster or family care arrangement under Home Stretch WA Staying On?

A young person and their previous foster carers can be supported to establish a Staying On Agreement or Housing Allowance, the choice of payment will be dependent on whether the carers are still approved foster carers.

The Staying On Facilitator can also support these arrangements through the Housing Allowance payment, but drawing on the Staying On practice framework.

If a young person Stays On with an existing foster or family carer, does this carer need to have insurance?

Staying On isn’t a foster placement, it’s a choice made by adults to continue a living arrangement. Home Stretch WA provides a subsidy to support the young person’s contribution to living costs.

The Home Stretch WA Transition Coach will discuss health insurance (particularly ambulance cover) with the young person as part of holistic planning across the eight domains. This can also be discussed in the negotiation of a Staying On Agreement.

If there is an identified need for health, home or car insurance, the Transition Coach will work with the young person around planning for that expense and their contribution. This might include using the Invest In Me Fund (see About Home Stretch WA page) and may include the young person chipping in to the family health insurance policy, or supporting the young person to learn how to take out their own ambulance (or health) insurance.