“Under current laws a 17-year-old is regarded as no longer being a child and no longer in need of care and protection.
“That means some of our most vulnerable kids – the ones who have been in statutory care and have often experienced significant trauma or grief – are ‘exited’ out of foster care without adequate support expected to become fully functioning members of society with all the responsibility that entails.
“It is despite many still being at school and despite the average age of young Kiwis leaving parental care being 23. They are not eligible for Housing NZ homes so are often forced into living in undesirable accommodation, such as garages, or on the street.
“The Dingwall Trust, which has been providing residential care for young people for decades, argues the leaving age should be raised to at least 18.
Read the full NZ Labour Party press release on Scoop here.