Communities and Justice

Liz’s plan

Liz, aged 20, has always wanted to become a hairdresser and one day own her own salon. Liz talks to her caseworker and tells her she wants to get her Certificate III in Hairdressing. NSW TAFE have told her apprenticeships are available.

Liz’s caseworker explores the Smart and Skilled Fee-Free Scholarships program with her and they find that she meets the criteria but there are costs for materials.

Measure of Wellbeing – Social / Living Skills and Peer Relationship

Expenditure Type Used for Items requested  Rationale Cost

Education and training

Education or vocational training to assist with course fees or the purchase of books, tools or materials to start further education
  • Uniform $115
  • Scissor Kit $200
  • Hairdressing brush kit approx. $85.00
  • PPE approx. $40.00
  • Mannequin Head:  approx. $80.00

Liz needs her own professional tools to perform each task for the hairdressing qualification


In accordance with the Principles, universal services have been explored first and were found to cover the tuition but not the kit and other materials.

Universal services include support and assistance available to the general public (e.g. the public health system and Centrelink benefits), as well as programs that target or prioritise care leavers.

The Smart and Skilled Fee-Free Scholarships are available to people who are aged 15-17 years and currently in out-of-home care or aged 18-30 years and previously have been in out-of-home care.

If Liz had been ineligible for the scholarship and her course incurred fees, DCJ might pay those fees in addition to the cost of course materials.

Practice point – Liz wasn’t ready to start training when she left care at 18 but her caseworker gave her a copy of Your Next Step (PDF, 5.5 MB) and made sure she knew that she could have her plan reviewed and updated and how to go about this. When she was ready, Liz contacted her caseworker.

On leaving care, Liz would also have been told that she has the right to view records about her time in care, how to go about this and that if she wishes, a support person can be provided when she reads her records. Learning about how and why you came into care can be upsetting but for many people it is a necessary part of understanding their identity.

Last updated:

01 Mar 2023