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3.6 Allowances for Homeless students (see 3.6 of the Instruments)
A student may, upon reaching minimum school leaving age as determined by the authorities of the State in which that student resides, be granted Homeless Student status where the Commission is satisfied that the student is not receiving or likely to receive continuous support either direct or indirect, in cash or in kind, from parents or any other person other than as provided for in this Scheme; and
(a) there is no family home; or
(b)the parents will not allow the student to reside in the family home; or
(c)it would be unreasonable to expect the student to live with the parents because of domestic violence, or comparable circumstances.
This allowance is intended to be paid to those students who are without a family home or at risk of homelessness due to family and/or other circumstances. Applications for homeless allowance usually involve circumstances of family dysfunction and often students are able to provide supporting documentation from a counsellor, local doctor, other health professional, police report etc.
Generally, a written statement and/or documents providing details of circumstances are required to support the application. A statement from a third party, preferably a counsellor/ doctor/ social worker is also required. A counsellor or social worker from VVCS or Centrelink may be available to make an assessment. A welfare officer from Legacy might also be appropriate. It may also be useful to refer the case to a suitably qualified Board member.
If a student has been granted homeless student status, education allowance is to be paid at a rate equivalent to the maximum basic rate payable under point 1067G-B3 of the Social Security Act 1991 in respect of a person who is independent.
The VCES / MRCAETS Secretary has the delegation to approve or not approve the application based on the information provided. If the Secretary in doubt they should discuss the case with the Children's Education Schemes Policy Officer.
Fortnightly payment of the allowance is to be made directly to the student or to an appropriate person if the Commission considers it unlikely that the student would be capable of managing his or her own finances. An 'appropriate person' is defined in 1.2.1 of the Instruments.
Special Financial Assistance may be granted to pay for a homeless student to access a private social worker. In such a situation, the social worker will be required to provide a report on the student's wellbeing.