It's Time To Raise The Age Of Fostercare in New Zealand

UPDATE: After a successful petition delivery to Anne Tolley before Christmas in 2015, we found out in April 2016 that the age of state foster care will increase to 18, with additional transitional support to the age of 25 being looked into. Although 18 is not quite far enough, this is a positive, progressive step in the right direction and it’s a policy change that our tireless campaign partners, like Dingwall Trust and Tupua Urlich, have been fighting for, for years.

This policy change will mean less of our young people will end up slipping through the cracks and winding up on the streets because they now have a guaranteed home until age 18.

Young people are in state care through no fault of their own. Somehow we have got to a point where people are quick to judge young people in foster care, but they are the innocent victims of sometimes horrific abuse and neglect. Our government is responsible for young people in state care, and we as members of the community also have a role to play in making sure that they have the support they need to thrive” – Moira Lawler, Lifewise General Manager

The government is currently reviewing Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) including whether the age of foster care should be reviewed. Under the current law, children lose child services protection when they turn 17, but aren't able to access adult support like student allowances until they are 18. [1]

These kids have been removed from their parents through no fault of their own. These vulnerable young people should have the same rights to a home-base as everyone else.

Lifewise, Dingwall Trust, Youthline, Child Poverty Action Group, Wesley Community Action and Christchurch Methodist Mission have teamed up with ActionStation to ask the government to raise the age of foster care from 17 to 21.

We have a very promising chance to fix this fundamentally flawed system with the the current review. Anne Tolley, the Minister of Social Development has already said they will consider raising the age of people under CYF care, as part of a wider review of the department. [2]

Our mission is to demonstrate widespread and bipartisan support for this to happen. Sign the petition and share with your friends to show you care about our kids.

 ~ References ~

  1. ‘CYF in line for major overhaul’,
  2. ‘Govt investigation to raise CYF care age 'surprising', Newstalk ZB

Do you have further questions about this campaign? Email them to or click on the links to read our FAQ below:


What are the key facts to support this campaign?

Dear Social Services Select Committee,

We call on the Government to raise the age of foster care from 17 to 21.

15,000 signatures

Will you sign?

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