The Andrews Labor Government is delivering on its commitment to make Victoria the Education State by establishing new LOOKOUT Education Support Centres to help ensure vulnerable children and young people in out-of-home Care stay in education.
Children and young people live in out of home care such as foster care or residential care when they are unable to live at home safely with their own family.
As part of the initiative, the Labor Government will provide $13.2 million over four years and $4.8 million ongoing from 2019-20 to establish the centres to help about 6000 vulnerable children and young people overcome the challenges they face in education and training.
Earlier this year the Minister for Families and Children, Jenny Mikakos, chaired a roundtable on improving educational outcomes for children in out-of-home care, comprising education and community service stakeholders.
We know that children in out-of-home Care are less likely than their peers to attend school, engage with education or attain a Year 12 or equivalent qualification, leading to poorer social, academic and life outcomes.
The new LOOKOUT centres will work with schools and carers to advocate for and protect the rights and interests of school-aged children and young people in Victoria who are in out-of-home Care.
A team of support staff, including a campus principal and psychologist, will take responsibility for monitoring and evaluating students’ progress at school, setting educational outcome targets and helping carers and social workers better support each child’s needs.
Full implementation of LOOKOUT Education Support Centres is expected to be rolled out in each of the State’s four regions throughout 2016-2017.
The funding is part of the Education State package that is providing $733 million in extra funds over four years to guarantee great schools for every community and great teachers in every classroom.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos
“This initiative will help bridge gaps in our education and care systems that have previously contributed to vulnerable young people being denied access to a consistent, high quality education.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino
“The LOOKOUT Education Support Centres will work in partnership with students’ schools and their carers supporting them to account for the educational progress of young people in out-of-home Care.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020