Accessing Better Futures Flexible Funding - procedure
Follow this procedure when you are submitting a request for Better Futures Flexible Funding for eligible young people transitioning from care.
Document ID number 1130, version 1, 7 January 2022.
Child protection practitioners, contracted case managers and Aboriginal Children in Aboriginal Care (ACAC) case managers can apply for Better Futures flexible funding to support eligible young person achieve their transition and aspirational goals across the areas of housing and living skills, health and wellbeing, employment, education, and community connections.
Flexible Funding should be used in accordance with the goals and needs of each young person identified in close partnership with them, and should assist them to build their independence by, for example:
- connecting them to support networks, family, community and culture
- assisting them to develop and build on skills and experience that are right for them
- supporting access to information, advice and assistance that they may need.
Better Futures flexible funding should be used to help a young person in care achieve their goals that are directly linked to leaving care preparation activities and which are included in their 15+ Care and Transition Plan (and Cultural Plan where relevant).
This funding is only accessible through Better Futures. Therefore, it’s important that all young people eligible for Better Futures are referred as soon as they turn 15 years and nine months. See Referral to Better Futures procedure for more information about the referral process.
Better Futures flexible funding is not available to young people that do not meet the Better Futures eligibility criteria whilst residing in statutory care including those on interim accommodation, or those in voluntary placements and not subject to an order in scope of Better Futures. However, if a young person’s circumstances change and they transition to an order in scope of Better Futures they can be referred to Better Futures and access Better Futures flexible funding.
Better Futures flexible funding will not cover items that are the responsibility of other programs or persons. For example, this may include items that are
- the responsibility of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) or the child protection program (client expenses)
- the responsibility of the young person’s care services provider
- part of the day-to-day responsibilities of carers.
Completion of flexible funding request form
Funding requests should clearly demonstrate how the funding will assist the young person’s transition goals as outlined in the 15+ Care and Transition Plan (and Cultural Plan where relevant) and/or the Better Futures support plan.
The young person should be part of the planning process and agree to accessing Better Futures flexible funding.
Case practitioner tasks
- Complete the Better Futures Flexible Funding Request Form. If required, consult or seek advice from Better Futures or the Better Futures/Home Stretch senior project officer.
- Encourage the young person to participate in the flexible funding application process.
For example, a young person could be responsible for researching and exploring available product options and prices. This provides an opportunity to develop their financial management skills.
- Submit request form via email to Better Futures, with the necessary supporting documentation attached (for example quotes or invoices). For any urgent requests requiring an immediate response follow up with phone call to the Better Futures provider to discuss the urgency.
- Purchase approved flexible funding items and organise invoice for reimbursement (with receipts) to be sent to the relevant Better Futures provider as soon as possible
- Record all steps associated with flexible funding requests on CRIS (via Client Expenditure component), including initiating the request, the request outcome, expenditure and acquittal. All completed and processed flexible funding request forms should be manually uploaded onto CRIS or CRISSP
- Support staff to exhaust other funding options available to the young person.
- Review and support requests to access Better Futures flexible funding, ensuring compliance with program requirements.
- Ensure all flexible funding requests, outcome and expenditures are recorded in CRIS.
Team manager tasks
- Support practitioners to purchase approved Better Futures flexible funding items.
- Confirm invoice for reimbursement is sent to approving Better Futures providers as soon as practical to secure expended funds.