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Post care support

Young people

Better Futures

Hume region Northern region

Teenage boy sitting in kitchen smiling

Better Futures works alongside young people who are leaving out-of-home care to identify goals and aspirations and connect them to their community.

The program is a new way of supporting young people leaving care that engages with young people and their support networks, including case managers and care teams, early in their transition from care.

Better Futures provides support across different areas, including:

  • housing
  • independent living skills
  • education and employment
  • health and wellbeing
  • connections with the local community.

Program goals

Better Futures aims to help young people transitioning from care to:

  • develop independent living skills
  • form social connections and supportive networks
  • discover what they want to do in the future
  • develop plans and increase opportunities for education and employment
  • develop sustainable outcomes in different areas of their lives (including secure housing, and managing health and wellbeing)
  • access appropriate resources and information that supports their transition.

Aboriginal community controlled organisations (ACCOs) delivering Better Futures work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people to make sure they receive culturally appropriate support and care plans.

Locations

Berry Street is one of the community service organisations providing Better Futures across Victoria.

We provide Better Futures in 3 regions:

  • Shepparton area in North Eastern Victoria (Berry Street's Hume region)
  • Melbourne’s North East and Hume Moreland (Berry Street's Northern region)
  • Melbourne's Western Metropolitan and Brimbank Melton region.

Community Connections

Community Connections gives young people opportunities to join outings and activities to help connect them to their community.

Young people are also connected to job and education opportunities to help them work towards their personal and professional goals.

Mentoring opportunities

As part of Community Connections, young people can be paired with volunteer mentors from the community. Mentors create a supportive environment and are positive role models for young people.

If you live in the Shepparton area in North Eastern Victoria and are interested in mentoring opportunities, learn more about becoming a leaving care mentor.

In Melbourne’s Metro areas, Community Connections is provided by Whitelion. For more information, go to Whitelion: Central Metropolitan Leaving Care.

Adult and teenager talking whilst holding tea

Referrals

Young people are eligible for Better Futures from 15 years and 9 months to 21 years old. Child Protection case managers and contracted case managers can refer young people to a Better Futures provider.

For more information about how to make a referral, go to Department of Health and Human Services: Better Futures eligibility and referral practice advice.

If you are a young person aged 18 to 21 who has left care, please contact the Melbourne City Mission leaving care hotline on 1300 532 846 to connect with your nearest Better Futures service.

Contact us

For more information about the program in our Hume region, please contact us on 03 5822 8100 or email shepparton@berrystreet.org.au.

For more information about the program in our Northern region or the Western Metro region, please contact us on 03 9450 4700 or email betterfutures@berrystreet.org.au.