Since 2019, rangatahi in State care became eligible to access supports to help them transition to adulthood from the age of 15 years. These supports include access to a Transition Worker, a support helpline, and an ‘Entitlement to Remain or Return’ (ETRR) to living with a caregiver from 18 to 21 years. However the uptake of ETRR has been significantly lower than expected, prompting Oranga Tamariki to commission VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai to carry out this research  understand why.

To honour and express the VOYCE kaupapa, a Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) approach was adopted, whereby rangatahi researchers interviewed their peers, analysed the findings and collaborated with VOYCE to create a report and recommendations. Twenty-three rangatahi from across Aotearoa participated in semi-structured interviews about their experiences of leaving care. Each of these rangatahi shared powerful insights from their lived experience of the system

We acknowledge all those who contributed to this report from across the VOYCE community. Amplifying the voices of those with lived experience of the State care system is at the heart of everything we do. We stand firm in our belief that these voices have the power to transform systems and change the world.

We tautoko the courage and leadership of all who contribute to this mahi, and honour those who fiercely advocate for the love, respect and empowerment of our young people.

The name for this report was gifted by Hunia Te Urukaiata Mackay, Kaihautū Kaupapa Māori (National Advisor Māori) for VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai. This name is an acknowledgment of the resounding message from rangatahi atawhaiwho spoke into this report, that relationships, connection and community are of paramount importance to their healthy development and overall wellbeing.

Whakamānawatia tōku taiao! He hononga rangatira!

Honour my world – my noble connections

Our report in accessible version