Out-of-home care could be extended to all young Canberrans until they reach 21, if a push by the ACT opposition is successful.
The ACT opposition will put forward a motion to the territory's parliament on Tuesday to call on the government to commit in-principle to the extension of out-of-home care.
It will call on the government to create a taskforce to review how the out-of-home care age has been extended internationally and to propose the best way to do this.
Currently, the government allows for young people and carers to opt-in if they wish to continue care beyond 18 years old. Carers can also receive a subsidy for those over 18.
But Canberra Liberals spokeswoman for families Elizabeth Kikkert said she had heard from carers who weren't aware of this option.
As well, the carers subsidy drops from $428 a week for a 17-year-old to $272 a week for those aged between 18 to 20.
"Generous care providers can apply for a small subsidy to help them continue to support those who legally age out of care but this process is a hurdle that creates uncertainty and can leave care leavers without support depending on a foster family's circumstances," Mrs Kikkert said.
Mrs Kikkert said it was also important that children in residential care were also given the option to stay in the care system.
"Most Australian youth continue to live with their parents after they turn 18, where they are supported as they develop naturally into strong, capable adults," she said.
"Formally extending out-of-home care to age 21 helps achieve similar outcomes."
Youth Coalition of the ACT executive director Dr Justin Barker said a review of the current system was especially needed.
"Theoretically [the ACT] supports them until they are 21 but is that happening the way it should be," Dr Barker said. "I can't answer that question and that's why we need a mechanism for this."
Victoria extended out-of-home care to 21-year-olds at the start of the year.
ACT Council of Social Services chief executive Dr Emma Campbell said she hoped the ACT would follow Victoria.
"From January this year, all young people in Victoria are eligible for extended care to 21 years that provides support included housing allowances, an allocated worker and brokerage per young person for education, employment and other expenses," she said.
"It also includes the ability to re-enter the care system for support if they have left care at 18 but later find themselves homeless.
"We hope that the ACT government will follow Victoria and to ensure young people exiting care get the support they need."
The Labor-Greens power-sharing agreement has committed to the improvement of the out-of-home care system for 18 to 21 years, after the ACT Greens took the policy to the election last year.
While the agreement is unclear as to what improvements would be made, ACT Minister for Families Rachel Stephen-Smith said she fully supported the intent of the motion.
"The ACT has led the country in extending support to young people exiting care - including after care support to the age of 25," she said.
"We have already committed to strengthening this even further for 18 to 21 year-olds in the Parliamentary and Governing Agreement for the 10th Assembly."
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