Children and young people in out-of-home care face many challenges in relation to their educational outcomes. Such challenges include:
- School instability, with multiple school changes and disruptions
- Problems at school, such as limited social connections
- Limited opportunities for participation because of part-time attendance, leaving before school completion, truanting, suspensions and exclusion
- Lower academic aspirations and attainment
- Co-occurring health, education, and learning needs
- Financial barriers and lack of adult support to access further education.
Many of these barriers arise because of a lack of understanding and support for young people who have early trauma and disrupted attachment experiences.
The partnership between Youth+ and Life Without Barriers was established to ensure support is provided to children and young people living in out-of-home care so they can achieve better educational outcomes. Educational support is provided for young people engaged with Life Without Barriers of primary and secondary school age through working with children in out-of-home care, their carers, care teams (including Child Safety), and their schools. This service is currently provided by three Education Consultants based at Beenleigh (SE Queensland), Ipswich (Brisbane and SW Queensland), and Sydney regions respectively. The provision of this service through an education setting such as EREA Youth+ enables the service to maximise connection with engagement in education.