Turning 17 no longer means young people in state care are out on their own, according to a recent law change set to kick in in 2018.
People in care will also be given support up to the age of 25.
Social Development Minister Anne Tolley on the changes to support for young people in state care.
The new rules will come into effect in 2018 and the government is looking at financial assistance for caregivers.
Part of a Child, Youth and Family overhaul, the changes aim to give young people in care an extra head start, care and stability.
Cabinet is yet to set the shape of financial assistance for caregiving.
The new legislation means:
- Young people will be able to remain in, or return to care up to the age of 21, either with an existing or former caregiver or an alternative caregiver
- Financial assistance will be provided to the caregiver taking into account the young person’s individual circumstances, and could include a contribution from any income they have
- The caregiver will provide pastoral care for the young person to gradually become more independent
- The new Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki will monitor the living arrangements against specific care standards
- Transition advice and assistance will be available up to the age of 25 for young people who have been in care, focusing on those with higher and more complex needs