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Minister for Children Anne Tolley says a new pilot which provides semi-independent accommodation and life skills for young people transitioning out of care will provide young people with more support.

“Young people in care have told us that they need options for where they can live as they transition out of care,” says Mrs Tolley.

“The Ministry is working in partnership with three providers in Auckland and Wellington to pilot a new supported living arrangement for young people.

“This pilot will help us to understand whether supported living as an effective option for providing transitional accommodation as well as support. It will also help us to build a greater understanding of what works and what doesn’t work.

“We want to help young people to develop the skills they need to lead successful lives. It’s important to ensure that when a young person leaves care, they are supported to reach their full potential.

“This pilot, which will run until June 2018, will help the Ministry to build a sustainable system which places young people front and centre. It will be evaluated and potentially expanded to more regions.”

The providers will be piloting safe semi-independent accommodation for young people aged 17 to 20 to support the development of life skills, and a more gradual transition from fully supported care to independent living.

The second stage of major reform to New Zealand’s care and protection system passed into law last month. It enables young people to remain or return to living with a caregiver until the age of 21, with transition support available up to age 25.

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