Compare this, the average age a child leaves home in New Zealand is 23 yet the state relinquishes all responsibility for kids in its care when they're just 17 years old.
Many are still at school or without jobs. They’re often still dealing with the harrowing life experiences that led to them being placed in care.
And while many pull through, some end up homeless or turning to a life of crime. Now one teenager is speaking up in the hope things will change for kids like him.
Ruwani Perera has his story