A Victorian report released on Wednesday showed that children in out-of-home care change schools often, repeat grades, drop out early and suffer high rates of mental and physical health problems.
Anglicare Victoria and Wesley Mission Victorian are urging the Government to prioritize education needs for the benefits of children in care.
Care-systems Impacts on Academic Outcomes, is a report launched on Wednesday by Child Safety Commissioner Bernie Geary. The report is one of the most detailed studies in education outcomes for children in care, with 199 carers, 21 teachers and six detailed case studies in the survey.
The study has categorized children in care to three groups – 'damaged', 'disengaging' and 'doing well'.
Children under the category of 'damaged' were about 12 years old and have been in care for more than seven years.
Almost nine in 10 had long-term conditions. Several children had difficulty in learning, a third repeated grades while a quarter of respondents experienced suspension from school.
Chief executive Ray Cleary of Anglicare Victoria said the alarming report on 'damaged' children should need support to get them back on track.
CEO Poul Bottern of Wesley Mission Victoria, said all children regardless of how they are categorized, deserved to have education.
The report highlights that children in out-of-home care often need targeted, intensive support to meet their particular needs, he said.
As a community we need to take responsibility for and invest in the future of these valuable children.
The two organizations called on the government to increase alternative education programs, expand therapeutic care placements, and improve integration across the out-of-home care and mental health systems to provide services for children and young people in care.