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Sheena knows support matters

ON HER OWN: Sheena has been in and out of home care all her life and has recently made the transition to living independently.
ON HER OWN: Sheena has been in and out of home care all her life and has recently made the transition to living independently. Max Fleet BUNSHE

A BUNDABERG woman is raising awareness of the critical role that support plays for young people who are in and out of home care.

Transition to Independence month brings awareness to the importance of enabling young people leaving care - foster, kinship or residential care - to live independently.

Queensland has the second highest out-of-home care population in Australia and every year around 400 young people in Queensland leave care.

Bundaberg woman Sheena Lamont, 20, knows the struggle it takes to transition from foster care and said her experience was one of the tougher ones.

"I was taken into foster care when I was just two years old," Ms Lamont said.

"I had 43 different placements in 13 years.

"I was kicked out of home just before I turned 16 and I had to make the shift on my own without any help.

"I could see the dark path I was going down and I didn't like who I was becoming so I started to make positive changes in my life."

Early next year the State Government will provide a range of new support services for Queensland care leavers up until the age of 21.

Create Foundation is representing the voices of children and young people in and out of home care.

Create co-ordinator Lucas Moore said the funding was a step in the right direction.

"This... is very encouraging and sends a positive message to young people transitioning from care that they are not alone in the journey," Mr Moore said.

Ms Lamont said the new support services will be helpful but only if they are made known to kids in all communities, not just the cities.

"I have found that those in the regional communities have a harder time transitioning because we just don't know what help is available."

Ms Lamont completed her course to become a youth worker and is working with Create to help young people who are in and out of care.

Topics:  care foster care state government



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