Study help for care leavers | Raising Expectations | Youth Central

Every year over 400 young Victorians leave state care. They might have been in foster care, residential care or living with family or extended family in kinship care.

If you've lived in care, you may have had to change schools several times, which may have made it hard for you to learn and have a stable education. You may not have received the support you needed to finish high school. You may not even have thought doing VCE or VCAL or going to TAFE or university was an option for you.

But it can be through programs like Raising Expectations and the Skills First Youth Access Initiative.

Raising Expectations

Raising Expectations is a project that helps people aged 18 and over who are leaving care to go to TAFE and university.

The program is about getting more people who have been in care to go on to university, including through TAFE pathway courses. This can help you to take advantage of the future life opportunities that come with completing a higher education qualification. 

As part of this project, Federation University Australia and La Trobe University offer services, supports and financial help to make university study a real possibility for care leavers. 

They also offer pathways and programs that can give you the skills you need to feel more confident and better prepared for study. 

At the moment there are over 200 care leaver students studying at Federation University Australia and La Trobe University across 11 campuses in Victoria. 

The universities collaborate with the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare on this program. It is funded by the Sidney Myer Fund.

More information about Raising Expectations

For Care Leavers

To find out more about supports and services to help you study and to answer your questions:

For people working or caring for a young person who is in care in Victoria

If you work for or care for a young person who is in care in Victoria, and want to know more about Raising Expectations, contact Joanna Humphries, Raising Expectations Project Manager

Raising Expectations Resources

Skills First Youth Access Initiative

If you are in care, or have been in care and are under 22 years of age you may be eligible for The Skills First Youth Access Initiative.

This allows you to study VCAL/VCE through to Advanced Diploma level courses and pay no tuition fees. For more information call the TAFE and Training Line on 131 823 or go to