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Invest In Me Fund

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Shelley Farmer,

Lived Experience Consultant

"It's something that I beg you think about when you're growing the capacity of a young person and contributing to their interdependence. We don't want to create and install that anxiety over not having the power over money. I was powerless so many times. We don't want that for our young people."

Modules

What is Invest In Me?

The Invest In Me Fund is available to young people to financially assist in achieving their personal goals. It is provided through the coaching relationship and administered by Home Stretch WA service providers.

What Does it Mean for Young People?

One of the overarching Coaching Practice Principles, that young people developed to guide coaches in supporting young people, is the 'right to a reliable source of support.'  This includes access to a viable and secure financial safety net for resources to support them towards their aspirations and goals or for crisis relief.

All the Coaching Practice Principles that are particularly relevant to supporting young people to access the Invest In Me Fund, are portrayed in the video below.

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Play Video

Shelley's quote above highlights some of the Principles developed by young people to ensure the coaching relationship is intentional in supporting a young person to access the Invest In Me Fund and grow their interdependence.

Encouraging young people's financial literacy to increasingly build their skills, knowledge and capacity to source and access other resources in the community, enhances their ability to make their own choices. Building their own financial or in-kind capacity to be able to 'chip-in' or 'chuck-in,' towards the cost of an identified need, were seen as essential principles by young people to develop their financial interdependence.  Young people 'taking charge' and being given the freedom and respect to be the 'expert in their own life' removes that sense of powerlessness and learned helplessness, so commonly talked about by young people leaving care.

Throughout the Invest In Me learning modules, the Coaching Practice Principles that apply to this Practice Area, are referenced to guide coaches in how young people have determined the Home Stretch WA service is delivered.

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Provider Responsibilities

What does the Provider need to do to implement Invest In Me?

Retain delegated authority around expenditure within a Home Stretch WA Team.

 

Ensure young people access primary financial support through Invest In Me, rather than the Leaving Care Fund.

Pool program funding as required to provide access to more than $2,500 per annum to young people with higher support needs.

Make consistent and objective decisions when providing Invest In Me funding by following the practice guidelines for Invest In Me. 

Improve young people’s awareness and confidence in accessing mainstream financial support and resources.

 

Establish an Invest In Me Payment Mechanism for the Home Stretch program and its staff. 

Maintain good financial governance.

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See the Model Integrity Framework for more details of the Provider responsibilities for implementing Invest In Me.

Outcomes for Young People

Invest In Me was designed so that young people:

  • Understand how Invest In Me works.

  • Have access to resources to achieve Aspirational Goals.

  • Have rapid access to financial support in times of crisis.

  • Experience consistency in support and decision making around financial issues.

  • Are part of the decision-making process and understand how and why decisions are made.

  • Are provided with clear avenues and options to appeal decisions and give feedback.

  • Build knowledge and confidence in accessing financial supports and resources outside of the child protection system.

  • Trust the Invest In Me process and learn to effectively negotiate access to leaving care funds until they turn 25.

Learner Outcomes

   

  • Understand the purpose and background of the development of Invest In Me funds for young people and how our values and attitudes can influence decision-making.

  • Support a young person to build their capacity and interdependence and develop a plan for their financial needs, including a budget.

  • Apply an objective and consistent approach, with the guide of the Coaching Practice Principles, to support equity for all young people accessing Invest In Me funding.

  • Know what a young person can access from Invest In Me funds and the Leaving Care Fund and how the Appeals process works.

  • Understand the roles and responsibilities of those involved in the processes of responding to a young person’s request to access funds under $100 and over $100.

After completing the Invest In Me Learning Modules, you will be able to:

​Navigating the Learning

Click on Module 1. below and complete the learning activities, including the quiz at the end. Repeat this process for Modules 2. to 4. to receive a Certificate of Completion for the Invest In Me Practice Area. The Learning Outcomes will be achieved with continued application becoming embedded into practice in your work with young people.

Learning Modules

Learning
Hours

About Invest In Me

Background and purpose of Invest In Me & the importance of being aware of the influence of personal values & attitudes on decision-making for young people's access to Invest In Me.

1 hr

1 hr