Support for care leavers

Did you know that FedUni is home to hundreds of care leavers? We welcome you, we support you, we want you to succeed.

You may not need or want any extra support - after all you've made it this far. If you do though, get in touch with our 'Care Leaver Coordinator', who will be able to help you out.

Care leavers

Thousands of people have spent all or part of their childhoods in the care of people who aren't their own direct family. Maybe with foster carers, or with extended family in kinship care. Or maybe in residential care with other young people. There are a number of different terms and language that means different things to different people - care leaver, care-experienced person, Ward of the State, Forgotten Australian, Stolen Generation, and many others. We do not want to define your own experience and identity for you - whichever term you use or identify with, we're here to support you.

Life in these circumstances can be tough. It can be hard enough to get by, let alone worrying at school, then TAFE or uni. We want you to know that even though it might've been hard for you in care, we know you can make it here. FedUni and Federation TAFE, if you want to come here, then we'd love to have you.

Starting out and making your way at uni or TAFE is hard for everyone, and we could all use a hand. But maybe the kind of help you could use as someone who spent time in care is different to others. So here's a hand for you.

Get in touch - give us a call, email, drop past the office (if you're in Mt Helen). Whatever it is you need, we'll give it a go, and let you know where you can turn to next.

Contact us

Jade McIlfatrick, Equity and Inclusion Officer

Office 012A, Medical Centre, Mt Helen Campus

Email: j.mcilfatrick@federation.edu.au

Apply for a program

Haven’t applied to a FedUni course or program yet? Follow this step-by-step process to apply. As a care leaver, please be aware that you may be eligible for financial assistance. Further information is available in the following section.

Already studying at FedUni, but haven’t yet explored the support available to you? You can skip this section and find further information in the sections below, or contact the University directly either by calling 1800 333 864, or by submitting an online enquiry.

Financial support

Fed Uni scholarships

We currently offer four Foundation scholarships for care leavers. This scholarship is open to all Australian students who have been in care or a state ward for at least 12 months or more.

Visit the care-leaver scholarship page and select the relevant scholarship link to view application dates and the step-by-step process on how to apply.

External financial assistance

Grants

CREATE Foundation provide yearly grants to clubCREATE members with a statutory care experience aged 15 - 25 years through the 'CREATE Your Future Grant Scheme'. These grants are for young people who are leaving out-of-home care to help assist them in their transition into independence.

View more information about the grant scheme

Transition to Independent Living Allowance (TILA)

TILA is a one-off payment from the Australian Government to help young people who are leaving out-of-home care, providing a contribution of up to $1,500 towards the costs involved in moving to independent living.

Visit the TILA website

Further resources

For further resources, tips and hints, visit the financial information and support page.

Academic support

Need some help with writing your essay? Not quite sure how to go about preparing for your exams? Federation University offers a range of support services to assist with the various aspects of learning and study. You can even request feedback on your assignment draft through the online tutoring service - 'Studiosity'.

Visit the Learning and Study information to view all academic services on offer.

Counselling and health services

FedUni offers general counselling and other health services including medical appointments. Further information can be found on the current students page.

External support for care leavers

Below are some useful links to resources that offer support to students from out-of-home-care.

Leaving Care Hotline

Ph: 1300 532 846

  • 10 am - 8 pm weekdays
  • 10 am - 6 pm weekends and public holidays

Alternatively, email inquiries can be sent to leavingcare@dhhs.vic.gov.au

Visit the Leaving Care website

Youth Central

Youth Central is the Victorian Government's website for young people aged 12-25, filled with great information and articles about your rights at work, school, managing your money, getting your drivers license and so on.

Vist the Youth Central website

Child and Family Services Ballarat (CAFS)

CAFS offer a Leaving Care Program, which aims to assess a young person’s needs and develop a strategy and plan with the young person to attain their short and long term goals. A key focus of Leaving Care is assisting the young person to gain independent living skills.

Visit the CAFS website

Beyond 18 Study

The longitudinal study on leaving care is a long-term research project about the lives of young people in out-of-home care and their experiences of leaving care in Victoria. It is the first of its kind to be conducted in Victoria.

Beyond 18

Videos

Advice from care leavers who have accessed higher education on how to overcome barriers and access supports.

Contact us

For all enquiries or to access support, please contact:
David McGinniss | Care Leaver Coordinator
03 5327 9186 | d.mcginniss@federation.edu.au 
Days of work are Mondays and Wednesdays

Yeah, but why?

Care leavers are severely under-represented in education, full stop. We believe this isn't good enough. We believe that all of us are missing out on the talent and potential that sits in out-of-home care. We haven't expected enough of ourselves, of young people in care, and of our further education systems, to make sure that care leavers can succeed at uni, TAFE, and in their careers.

At Federation University we're part of the 'Raising Expectations' network. That is, we want to be part of a new way of looking at education for young people in care, and who used to be in care.

Raising Expectations is a State Government-funded project that aims to increase the number of young people in out of home care and care leavers participating in higher education and vocational education and training programs across Victoria. The project is a cross-sectoral collaboration between Federation University Australia, Latrobe University, Swinburne University, the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare, and the Victorian Department of Education and Training.

Together we have produced a heap of valuable resources, stories, info, links, for young people in care, leaving care, carers, schools, unis, TAFEs, everyone. Follow the link and subscribe to the newsletter - you never know when it might have the info you need... Raising Expectations website.