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Post Care Education Financial Support FAQ
Family and Community Services (FACS) is committed to ensuring young people in out-of-home care gain the benefits of a solid education and, wherever possible, encourages them to attain their Higher School Certificate and go on to further education.
Young people due to transition to independence from out-of-home care at the same time that they finish school are at risk of not attaining their HSC or equivalent if they need to establish independent accommodation at this time.
Many young people turn 18 while they are completing year 12. This is even more likely for young people in out-of-home care who because of the circumstances which led them to enter care may mean they finish school at an older age than their peers.
The Post Care Education Financial Support is a new, non-means tested payment aimed at helping young people aged from 18 to 25 complete their Higher School Certificate, by providing financial support to their carer to maintain the current living and support arrangements while they are completing their HSC.
How much will carers receive?
Financial support paid to carers should be provided at a rate equivalent to that received by them immediately before the young person’s 18th birthday. The financial support is paid directly to the carer by their managing agency (i.e. FACS or non-government agency).
Who is eligible?
In order to receive the Post Care Education Financial Support:
- the carer must have been receiving a care allowance immediately before the young person reached 18 years of age, and
- the young person must be 18 and under 25 years of age and live with the carer, and
- the out-of-home care placement must have ended due to the young person’s age, and
- the young person must be studying full-time in order to complete Year 12 or equivalent studies, and
- the carer must reside in NSW.
Eligibility for financial support under this policy does not influence eligibility for continuation of the Teenage Education Payment (TEP) installments, which should be assessed separately using the Teenage Education Payment Guidelines.
What courses of study are covered?
To be eligible for the payment, the young person in out-of-home care must be enrolled full-time or equivalent in one of the following:
- Higher School Certificate (HSC)
- HSC via school-based apprenticeship or traineeship
- HSC via Vocational Education and Training (VET) Board Endorsed courses
- TAFE NSW Certificate IV in Tertiary Preparation
- Post-school course at Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) Certificate II level, or higher
- International Baccalaureate, diploma level.
Note: full-time study for the purposes of this allowance is 15 hours or more per week and can take place at a high school, TAFE or equivalent setting.
How do carers apply?
FACS carers will receive a Post Care Education Financial Support application form in the mail. These carers should complete the application form and return it to FACS.
Carers with a non-government agency will need to apply through their agency. Further information about the application process will be provided to carers by their agency.
Alternatively both FACS and non-government agency carers can download the application form complete it and return to their agency if they would like to initiate the process.
Do carers have to provide proof of what they have spent the financial support on?
No. In line with the care allowance Post Care Education Financial Support is paid to the carer to help cover a young person’s day to day living expenses and carers are not expected to keep receipts or show their agency how the money is spent.
When does the Post Care Education Financial Support stop?
The post care education financial support stops when the young person:
- has completed their HSC (the end of school term for Year 12), or equivalent, or
- stops studying full time, or
- transitions to independence.
What other supports are available for young people completing their education?
The carer may also continue to receive Teenage Education Payment (TEP) installments where these payments were being paid immediately before the young person reached 18 years.
How do I get more information?
The Policy on provision of financial support to foster and kinship carers of you people 18 years and older completing full-time studies is on the FACS website. Alternatively to find out more about the Post Care Education Financial Support:
- Talk to your caseworker or non-government agency
- Contact Connecting Carers NSW on 1300 794 653 or www.connectingcarersnsw.com.au
- Contact the Aboriginal Statewide Foster Carer Support Service on 1800 888 698 or www.absec.org.au