'My mother has always battled with drinking and gambling addictions. She was never able to care for me or my siblings. When I was 16, I dropped out of school and started working part-time. I was finally able to support myself. Mum then started to steal my earnings, so I knew I had to leave. I was terrified of ending up depressed and addicted, just like her. My boss found me in tears during a shift and I finally opened up to someone about my family. It was such a huge relief. My boss was very supportive and together we found a crisis accommodation service close to work. A few months later, once I was settled, I decided that I wanted to finish school. I was offered an apprenticeship, which enabled me to support myself and study at the same time. For the first time in my life, I feel hopeful and I have started to plan for my future.' – Rachel, 18

All children and young people must be allowed to pursue their educational and professional goals. Education and training are crucial to the growth and development of children and young people. Education and training, including formal tuition and practical life skills, promote self-confidence and independence, and provide children and young people with the skills and competencies necessary to enter adulthood.