Education (transitions)

This needs assessment, published in July 2024, provides an overview of the education needs and experiences of children and young people in care or youth justice.

Education enables better life outcomes for young people

Higher levels of education attainment are associated with better life outcomes, including lower levels of long-term benefit dependency, lower levels of offending, and greater participation in employment or training.

Engagement with education is also a contributor to social cohesion and participation, and better self-reported health statuses.

Understanding education needs and experiences

Care and youth justice-experienced young adults, kaimahi, and transition providers have told us what young people moving to independence need to have better educational experiences and outcomes. This needs assessment identified five key areas where the education system is struggling to meet the needs of this population. These are:

  • Building educational aspirations.
  • Building basic skills.
  • Supporting young people transitioning to independence to access and continue with education.
  • Improving their access to financial support.
  • Supporting them to access workplace-based training.

Cross-agency plan for prioritising needs of young people moving to independence from care and youth justice

In response to the assessment, Oranga Tamariki, the Tertiary Education Commission, Te Pūkenga, and the Ministries of Education and Social Development have committed to working together to better meet the needs of young people transitioning to independence from care and youth justice:

  • Together, the agencies will ensure that information around educational services and supports is shared effectively between agencies so these young people can achieve educational success in their chosen path.
  • MSD and Te Pūkenga will increase awareness of and accessibility to their existing transitional programmes that support young people with the development of basic life skills and work-readiness. This will ensure that young people are equipped with the requisite skills, educational and otherwise, to successfully transition to independence.
  • TEC will provide resources and ongoing guidance to Oranga Tamariki to build their understanding of the tertiary education and training system. TEC will also monitor and evaluate the Unified Funding System, which funds the delivery of vocational education and training.
  • Oranga Tamariki is undertaking work to ensure that more social workers, young people and caregivers are aware of and able to access the entitlement for a young person to remain living with, or return to live with, a caregiver.
  • In the long term, Oranga Tamariki is working to enhance practice in the transition planning and preparation space. This is so, when young people transition to independence, they have a clear idea of their educational aspirations and supports available to them.

Published: July 3, 2024