From care to independence report

Published: January 29, 2018

Young people benefit from focused support when moving from being in care to living independently.

Transition from care to independence

Young people transitioning from being in care to living independently need support throughout this challenging time. We are currently designing a new transition service to support care-experienced youth to grow into flourishing adults.

A formative evaluation of two existing Auckland-based Transition from Care to Independence (TCI) services was commissioned to inform this service design. The evaluation sought to understand how the services were operating on-the-ground, along with the experiences of those involved in its delivery.

The evaluation found that the TCI services were considered well-functioning and effective, and have the potential to usefully inform a national transition support model.

I don’t have my family…I don’t really have anyone to depend on or whatever, but they’re constantly there and it’s like texting your mum for a ride, because that’s kind of what they are.

Young person

Key findings

Young people, staff and social workers were consistently positive about the service. In particular, young people told us that they valued the support provided by TCI, and believed it had a meaningful impact on their life.

The relationship between young people and their TCI worker was identified as a key component of the service, which was highly valued. Young people told us they received unconditional and non-judgmental support, similar to what a family member would normally provide.

The TCI service also provides young people with a range of practical support throughout the transition period, for example, goal setting and referral to community-based services. Other examples of practical support that young people highly valued included getting their driver’s licence, finding somewhere to live, and engaging in group activities within other care-experienced youth.

Being able to be together in one room and connect with each other … to talk about stuff is key to evolving as a better human being.

Young person

Next steps

The evaluation identified a range of factors that may improve how future transition services operate, along with some key recommendations that could inform service design within Oranga Tamariki. This service design work is currently underway.