Sidney Myer Fund Grant

La Trobe University is a joint recipient of a Sidney Myer Fund grant to improve education for young Victorians in out-of-home care. Led by the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare (CFECFW), the $724,000 project aims to raise transition rates to tertiary education and to improve educational achievement. The project includes training for foster carers and social workers; education resources for people in care; and new university programs for care leavers.

La Trobe was funded to employ a Care Coordinator to raise educational awareness and aspirations among young people living in out-of-home care. The Coordinator will manage outreach programs including campus visits, guest lectures and master classes. The programs will include new resources to demystify university and provide a taste of campus life.

La Trobe's project involvement will be led by Dr Andrew Harvey, Director of the Centre for Higher Education Equity and Diversity Research (CHEEDR; formerly known as The Access and Achievement Research Unit), Dr Patricia McNamara, Adjunct Senior Lecturer in Social Work and Prof. Pamela Snow, Head of the La Trobe Rural Health School.

Under the project, the Centre for Excellence will develop certified training packages for carers, teachers and case workers. A resource and information exchange will also be developed for young people in care. These resources will assist prospective students to explore their tertiary education options.

Federation University of Australia is the third member of the consortium, and project participants will include Anglicare and Mackillop. The project is collaborative, systemic, and state-wide, and will include care leavers serving on the advisory board.

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