Ladder Step Up Western Sydney

Ladder Step Up Western Sydney is an Education, Employment and Training (EET) engagement model to help young people leaving care better identify and test educational and vocational activities which are of interest to them, and that they are motivated to further explore.

The Step Up model has approved activity status (Activity ID 6254042) with the Department of Employment, meaning that any young person in the program registered with a Job Network provider meets their mutual obligation requirements, and will subsequently receive Centrelink payments as a registered program participant.

About the program

The Ladder Step Up Western Sydney program supports young people between 17 - 20 years old who are exiting out-of-home care.

The program, based out of Ladder's Mount Druitt site, will assist young people to develop life skills, improve their health and wellbeing, establish social relationships and community connections, and secure ongoing education, training or employment.

The program begins with up to 8 weeks of group development sessions, followed by up to 26 weeks of education, employment or training in an area of interest. Young people then have an opportunity to be matched with a mentor to support them with their ongoing development. Ladder mentors are sourced from a select group of AFL players and corporate and community leaders. Mentors become a trusted support and advocate for the young person and motivate them to achieve their goals.

The Ladder Step Up Western Sydney program is tailored to meet the needs of each individual young person meaning that they will have a focus on different program components and be engaged for different lengths of time based on their development needs. We encourge young people, or those referring them, to get in touch with Ladder to discuss their needs and how a program can be tailored to best support them.

The program funding is supported by the NSW Government's Department of Family and Community Services and the GWS GIANTS are a community partner. The program is also supported by the AFL Players and AFL.

Latest news

Inspirational visit to the GWS GIANTS HQ

Ladder Step Up Western Sydney is taking referrals

Employment leads to confidence building

Seeing snow for the first time

Ladder Development Coach to take leading role in AFL Female Diversity Championship

I wish I did this course before I went through almost living on the street

Step Up is a stepping stone to independence

Young person experiences their first AFL match thanks to the GWS GIANTS

Ladder officially opens its doors in Western Sydney

Launch of The Ladder Step Up Western Sydney Program


To be eligible for the Ladder Step Up Western Sydney program you must;

  • Be aged between 17 and 20 years of age
  • Be exiting or nearing exiting out-of-home care
  • Be based in Greater Western Sydney
  • Be available to attend up to 8 weeks of training
  • Have the capacity to participate in programs offered and be committed to doing so

How to Refer

Young people are able to self-refer or they can be referred by a caseworker or carer.

To refer, please complete the following form and return as per the instructions on the last page.

Ladder Step Up referral form

Ladder Step Up Mentoring

Ladder Step Up Mentoring provides an opporunity to become a role model for a young person, have a positive impact on a young person's life, provide perspective and understand youth homelessness. A mentor becomes a trusted support and advocate and motivates the young person to achieve their goals.

Ladder Step Up Mentoring involes a twelve month relationship that focuses on developing a positive and meaningful relationship with a young person. As a guide a monthly face-to-face catch up is a appropriate with regular phone or sms communication in between.

Ladder Step Up mentoring hadbook

Get in touch

We would be happy to answer any of your questions. Please email or call the office on (02) 02 9832 3469


Click here to view our answers to frequently asked questions.

Got other questions? Feel free to get in touch with us at any time by emailing or call the office on (02) 02 9832 3469

Further information/ resources

Information flyer

See how the Ladder Step Up Western Sydney program was developed:

Watch this short video about the program launch

Former AFL player, Brad Murphy shares his story of growing up in foster care from 16 months old. He reflects on the importance of having organisations like Ladder and why young people who grow up in care can achieve anything they set their mind to.

Funding supported by FACS