Equity Trustees Makes First Grant Under New Funding Plan
30 August 2016 at 11:10 am
Philanthropic fund manager Equity Trustees has awarded its first grant, under its new $10 million Empowering Change philanthropy grant program, to support young people in state care.
The grant has been made to the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare for a project to support young people in care to make the transition to adulthood.
Equity Trustees said the project supports recent calls from Anglicare Victoria to raise the age that young adults in out of home care remain supported, and responsibility of the state, from 18 to 21 years.
Anglicare Victoria commissioned the report, Raising Our Children: Guiding Young Victorians in Care to Adulthood, which showed there were clear social and economic benefits in ensuring young people remain supported in out of home care until age 21, and has launched The Home Stretch initiative to advocate for change.
Last week Equity Trustees announced it had restructured its granting program to direct more than $10 million of annual discretionary charitable giving into five key areas: Children and Young People, Medical Research and Health, Ageing and Aged Care, Animals and Environment, and Partnerships Program.
Discretionary distributions are possible where Equity Trustees has been appointed as the sole trustee of a charitable trust and given discretion to choose the charities and causes to receive funding. This is distinct from the other charitable trusts Equity Trustees manages which were established with specific instructions regarding how the income is to be granted or are managed in collaboration with co-trustees.
Equity Trustees said the grant of $60,000 was funded under a new Children and Young People granting stream which has an allocation of $1.8 million out of the total pool of $10 million annually.
The project will be overseen by a committee, which will include Victorian Government policy advisers, key researchers and leaders from community organisations which support young people at risk.
“This is a targeted strategy to work with a leading peak organisation with expertise, experience and connections in the field,” Equity Trustees general manager of philanthropy Tabitha Lovett said.
“We hope this financial contribution will help develop the blueprint for the state care system to better prepare and support young people in the government’s care as they transition to adulthood.
“Most people reflecting on their own maturity and preparedness at age 18 to live independently without family networks and financial support would appreciate the vulnerability of this group and the need for a systemic response to ensure they don’t fall through the cracks.”
Lovett said the first project would include the development of a white paper on how philanthropy can better support the out of home care sector and it will be developed in consultation with the sector and government.
CEO of the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare Deb Tsorbaris said as a community we need to ensure children in care have ongoing support so they get a decent start to adulthood.
“In Victoria, more than 8000 children and young people are in out of home care – usually because of very difficult and complex issues. Each year about 800 of those kids turn 18 and their care ends,” Tsorbaris said.
“They then have to make the transition to adulthood with little support, including finding accommodation and employment, and for some, continuing with their education.
“Children in the care of the state have experienced significant trauma in their young lives and as a community we need to ensure they have ongoing support so they get a decent start to adulthood.
“When you consider that more than half of 18 to 24 year olds in Australia still have the safety net of living at home, it’s crucial that we spend more time thinking about, planning and implementing better supports for young people in care so they can successfully transition to independent living.”