Providing education and support to deliver better outcomes for children and families in permanent care and adoption


Higher Education Opportunities for Care Leavers

Do you know or are you working with a care leaver or a young person preparing to leave care?  There are VCAL, TAFE and University options for them.

Here are a few resources to start with: 

Reconnect: Engagement and Learning Support Program:  Supports young people from age 17 and up who did not complete Year 12 to enrol and stay in vocational training. Reconnect offers a case management approach. For more information click here.
Skills First Youth Access Initiative: (formerly the fee-waiver initiative) Supports young people under 22 who have been or are currently on a Child Protection Order or a Youth Justice Order. Eligible young people can study courses from VCAL/VCE through to Advanced Diploma level and pay no tuition fees. For more information click 
Raising Expectations: Supports all young people leaving care, and those who have already left and are thinking about study. As a result of the program, there are over 100 care leaver students studying at Federation University Australia and La Trobe University. For more information click here.

Find info for care leavers wanting to study at La Trobe, click here and Federation University click here

 Not sure of the best pathway, what is on offer, or the financial supports and services available?  Get in touch with Jo from the Raising Expectations team on  or 03 9094 3509.

You can also listen to care leavers currently studying at Fed and La Trobe Unis on their experiences here

Financial Assistance 

Child Care Benefit​

You can get the Child Care Benefit if your child attends approved or registered care and you are responsible for paying the child care fees. Most long day care, family day care, before or after school care, vacation care, some occasional care and some in-home care child care services are approved child care providers. Your child's child care service will tell you if they are an approved provider.

To be eligible for the Child Care Benefit you need to meet the income test, and satisfy work, study or training commitment requirements.

The Commonwealth Family Assistance Office makes the payment and can supply you with the relevant information.

For more information, see: Family Assistance Office -C​hild Care Benefit or call 13 61 50. 

State Schools' Relief

This help is provided by not-for-profit organisation State Schools’ Relief (SSR), which helps students through fundraising. For more information, see: Help for families facing hardship

Parents or carers with children in Victorian government schools may receive free or discounted:

  • new school uniforms
  • new school shoes
  • new textbooks
  • stationery, including workbooks, pencils.

The Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund (CSEF) gives payments for eligible students to attend camps, sports and excursions.

The fund is available to families and carers:

  • holding means-tested concession cards
  • on bridging or temporary protection visas
  • in community detention
  • with students in out of home care
  • with students in statutory care.

Becoming a trauma sensitive school

There are some excellent resources included in this document.  Please click on the link

Calmer classrooms

A guide to working with traumatised children.  Please click on the link


Raising Expectations Education Forum

On July 28, PCA Families together with The Centre for excellence in Family Welfare organised a forum to assist carers support the learning and education needs of young people in their care.

The forum was opened by Gill Callister, Secretary, Department of Education and Training

Topics included:

  • Informing carers of recent changes and increased support in the Victorian schools environment
  • Providing information on education related services and supports, and
  • Offering networking opportunities and to share experiences

Guest speakers on the day:

  • Student Support Services from the Department of Education and Training and Student Wellbeing from the Catholic Education Office
  • An education panel with representatives from the LOOKOUT Education Support Centres, Navigator, the Victorian
  • Aboriginal Education Association and other  DET initiatives
  • A support panel with speakers from Grandparents Advisor Line/Centrelink, Permanent Carers Helpline, FCAV Carer Support Service, Kinship Carer Support Service and a representative from International Social Service.  

We recorded the forum and uploaded them on to YouTube for you to listen to. You can find a playlist of the videos here along with links to the video playlists here.




Trauma informed education Safe Spaces Safe Faces Safe Places

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