Raising Expectations Program

The Raising Expectations Program aims to increase the access and success of young people in out-of-home care and care leavers in post-secondary education.

What is the Raising Expectations Program?

The Raising Expectations Program is delivered by the Centre for Excellence in Family and Child Welfare (the Centre), the peak body for child and family services in Victoria. The Centre works in partnership with TAFEs and universities to embed support for students with a care experience. This includes building the capacity and confidence of students with a care experience, supporting vocational education and training (VET) and higher education workers to provide tailored support to care leavers, strengthening young people in care and care leavers’ transitions to post-secondary education.

Raising Expectations engages TAFEs and university partners to provide critical localised pathways and support services for care-experienced students in metropolitan and regional areas. This includes:

  • expanding and strengthening connections with student support services on campuses
  • increasing supports and access around bursaries, scholarships and allowances
  • increasing support and access to on-campus accommodation
  • establishing participation data collection for VET and higher education students (the Centre reports findings to the department)
  • making referrals for tuition fee-waivers under the Youth Access Initiative
  • establishing referral processes and pathways via community service programs, such as the department’s Reconnect program and leaving care services.


Raising Expectations has been funded and supported by the Victorian Government since 2018. It is currently funded by the Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions (the department).

Raising Expectations has formal partnerships with Federation University Australia, Swinburne University of Technology, La Trobe University and Victoria University. These organisations have formed a cross-sectoral collaboration to support young people and adults with a care experience to transition to VET and higher education.

What supports are available?

Under the Raising Expectations program, TAFEs and university partners provide the following supports to care leavers:

  • care-experienced student bursary and scholarships
  • support to access other financial allowances and supports
  • support in navigating applications and enrolments in VET and higher education courses
  • referrals to tuition fee-waivers under the Youth Access Initiative
  • referrals to personal and academic support
  • peer support and mentoring programs.

Who is eligible for support?

Raising Expectations is aimed at supporting out-of-home care leavers of any age currently undertaking or thinking about undertaking a VET or higher education course at a TAFE or partnered dual-sector university. Future students must meet the eligibility requirements to study in Victorian universities or TAFEs.

External support programs and initiatives

Reconnect Program

The Reconnect Program is intended to improve a person’s chance of breaking the cycle of disadvantage by creating equity, improving access and increasing choice in pathways through education, training and employment.

Reconnect providers can offer a range of supports while you are being supported by Raising Expectations. These may include:

  • counselling and mentoring
  • housing and accommodation services referral
  • mental health support referral
  • foundation skills
  • employability skills
  • careers information, planning and advice.

Youth Access Initiative

The Youth Access Initiative provides care leavers aged under 24 with a fee waiver that allows access to over 800 VET courses.


Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions

To find out more, contact learner.pathways@djsir.vic.gov.au.

Reconnect Program 2021–2024

Email: reconnect.program@djsir.vic.gov.au

Youth Access Initiative

Email: learner.pathways@djsir.vic.gov.au

Raising Expectations

Raising Expectations website

Email: hello@raisingexpectations.com.au
Facebook – Raising Expectations
Twitter – Raising Expectations
Instagram – Raising Expectations

Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare

Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare website

Phone: (03) 9614 1577
Email: admin@cfecfw.asn.au