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Post care support

Young people

Keys to Independence

Northern region

girl sitting next to boxes and suitcase smiling

The Keys to Independence Program (K2I) supports young people who are in out-of-home care or who have left care to increase their living skills and identify housing pathways as they prepare for independent living.

The program engages young people and their care team early to start planning. Using the Everyday Life Skills tool, we can assess young people’s independent living skills as they prepare to transition from care and identify any gaps in their knowledge and capacity.

The program then supports young people to:

  • increase their independent living skills
  • build on their strengths for independent living
  • access housing that is right for them.

How it works

Before young people move into housing, Keys to Independence can provide support with:

  • working with care teams to use the Everyday Life Skills tool and use the findings to help develop plans
  • identifying appropriate housing pathways for young people
  • connecting young people to appropriate accommodation options
  • providing secondary consults for sector workers around accessing leaving care and Better Futures support.

For young people who are ready to move into housing, the program provides tenancy support and/or financial support for up to 12 months. This can include:

  • financial support with rent (rental subsidies) to help young people access a private rental or shared housing, or providing extra payments to support young people to live with their previous carers
  • helping young people to maintain their tenancies, including linking them to post care support, specialist services, and education and employment supports
  • matching young people with other tenants for shared living.

About the Everyday Life Skills tool

The Everyday Life Skills tool is an assessment tool that helps to understand young people’s knowledge, development and life skills to increase housing preparation and sustainability. The tool highlights young people’s existing strengths and life skills in areas such as accommodation, health, education and training, social connection and inclusion. It also identifies gaps and areas where young people need to increase their skill level.


K2I is for young people who are either:

  • aged 16 years or over and in foster care, kinship care, residential care or the Lead Tenant program in Melbourne’s North East and Hume Merri-bek (formerly Moreland) regions
  • or are aged 16 to 21 years old, have left care from the North East or Hume Merri-bek regions and are eligible for Better Futures supports.

Young people also need to be willing to:

  • engage with the program and staff
  • complete the Everyday Life Skills assessment
  • work towards increasing their independent living skills
  • explore appropriate housing options, which may include share houses, private rentals or boarding arrangements
  • engage with education or employment pathway supports.

Contact us

For more information or to make a referral, please contact us on:

Phone: 03 9450 4700