Home Stretch is delivered via the Better Futures model. Through Home Stretch, eligible young people have the option of
- remaining with their approved kinship, foster or permanent carer post order up to their 21st birthday, supported by a Home Stretch carer allowance; or
- accessing a Home Stretch allowance administered by Better Futures to support them with housing costs in an approved independent living arrangement post order up to 21 years of age.
Home Stretch includes three components; an allowance, case work and flexible funding to facilitate the young person’s access to housing, education, employment, health and wellbeing support, and community connections.
This procedure is for child protection practitioners, contracted case managers and Aboriginal Children in Aboriginal Care (ACAC) case managers who are supporting eligible young people in kinship care, foster care, residential care and in lead tenant arrangements.
See Home Stretch – advice for more information about Home Stretch program requirements.
Case practitioner tasks
- Explore accommodation exit options post order, in consultation with young person and care team, as part of transition planning.
- Consult with the Better Futures provider about Home Stretch and supports offered.
- Confirm whether young person is eligible to apply for Home Stretch.
- Discuss option for supports via Home Stretch with young person and care team (and carer if relevant).
- Obtain informed consent from young person (and carer if relevant) to apply for Home Stretch.
- Complete (in consultation with Better Futures) and submit the CRIS Home Stretch application to the relevant child protection team manager for approval at least six months before the order expires for the final time.
- Communicate outcome of application to young person, Better Futures worker, carer (if relevant) and care team (within 5 working days of the approval date).
- Confirm Home Stretch funding allocations with the divisional Home Stretch/Better Futures senior project officer.
- For approved Home Stretch applications via:
- independent living, complete and submit Home Stretch independent accommodation proposal via CRIS (in consultation with Better Futures); or
- home-based care, remind the program area that created the current placement to generate and submit the ‘Form C: Change of details for care allowance’ for approval. This must be done no later than four weeks before the order expires.
Refer to Home Stretch CRIS guide for more information about the CRIS Home Stretch application process - accessible in CRIS via the 4 Help! Ask CRIS icon.
- Manage and support changes to young person’s circumstances (whilst they are on an order), including reviewing and cancelling approved Home Stretch applications in CRIS (if applicable).
- Document all contacts, actions, and decisions relating to Home Stretch in CRIS.
- Work closely with the Better Futures worker to ensure a smooth support transition process to Better Futures (post order).
- Support practitioners to identify young people in scope of Home Stretch.
- Follow up to make sure that the Home Stretch application is processed (for eligible young people) at least six months before the current order expires.
- Confirm all Home Stretch documentation, progress and activities are processed, recorded and updated in CRIS (before the order expires)
Team manager tasks
- Review and approve the Home Stretch applications and independent accommodation proposals in compliance with Home Stretch program requirements.
For all Home Stretch applications approved via home-based care, where child protection created the current placement record the team manager:
- Review and approve the submitted ‘Form C: Change of details for care allowance’.
Placement Provider tasks (or where relevant Child Protection)
The creator of the current placement record in CRIS or CRISSP is required to:
- Submit the Form C Home Stretch Change of Details on CRIS/SP (not less than four weeks prior to the young person’s order expiring) to the Carer Allowance Helpdesk. This will initiate the payment of Home Stretch Allowance – Home Based Care post order for approved Home Stretch carers.
- Provide a copy of the Form C Home Stretch Change of Details to Better Futures.
Only the placement provider or Child Protection area that created the placement can initiate the Home Stretch payment via a Form C.
Divisional Home Stretch/Better Futures Senior Project Officer
- Respond to eligibility enquiries.
- Provide program operational support (in divisions).
- Review, monitor and track the status of Home Stretch applications.
- Support Better Futures providers to administer changes in circumstances (post order).
- Process Home Stretch data into Individualised Funding Allocation Management System (IFAMS).
- Coordinate Home Stretch funding allocations to Better Futures providers in consultation with Agency Performance and System Support (APSS) Advisers.