Over the past year we have been advocating for change to the way caregivers are means tested when young people want to further their study and apply for Studylink with Work and Income. Unfortunately we have not yet seen any change. Under the current policy it is assumed that caregivers are ‘acting in place of a parent’ of that young person, if you regard that young person as a member of your family, or if you were providing personal guidance, advice or direction. Your young person can be declined for the Independent Circumstances Allowance through Studylink because of your financial position. We find this unfair and are trying to get legislation changed that states ‘young people under the guardianship of the state when they leave care are eligible for Studylink allowances’. We will continue to advocate for this.
Recently we have been shocked to hear from caregivers about the questions that youth are being asked in the application process. We are concerned, that for some youth, these questions may dis-regulate them and we know that the people asking the questions are not trained for these situations. Oranga Tamariki are also concerned and we are working with them towards an interim change until a more permanent solutions is achieved.
If you have youth in your care who are wanting to apply for Studylink please contact us for support through this process.
Free phone: 0800 693 323
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