Increase in number of children participating in school/early childhood education.
When children grow up in disadvantaged households, they are more likely to experience poverty and homelessness as adults. At Launch Housing, we know that interventions that have immediate impacts on households are also likely to break the cycle of homelessness and disadvantage.
Our work contributes to the SDGs
The Education Pathways Program (EPP) is one of the only programs providing targeted educational support to ensure children in crisis stay connected to school and kinder despite experiencing homelessness.
Our program was a finalist in the 2021 Victorian Early Years Awards, and was highly commended in the Commission for Children and Young People Protecting Children Awards in 2022.
In Victoria, around 37,000 children were supported by a Specialist Homelessness Service between 2020 and 2021.
This year, our program assisted 107 children. This is a 13% increase from last year, and only possible because of philanthropic support.
Fifty-two children, or 49%, were not enrolled in school at the time of referral to our program. And of those 52 children, 50 were subsequently enrolled. In total, the program supported 52 new enrolments; 15 kinder and early childhood education, 29 primary school and eight secondary school enrolments.
The EPP has assisted a greater number of children and families this year than previously anticipated. The program received both internal referrals, being Launch Housing clients, and external referrals from the Salvation Army, Uniting and other partners.
For the first time, the program had to turn down referrals which could indicate a growing demand for services. Being unable to accept referrals could further worsen a family’s situation as they navigate the complex homelessness services system and manage their children’s education.