Studio Program

Preventing young people from experiencing homelessness

For over thirty years, Kids Under Cover’s primary purpose has been to prevent young people from experiencing homelessness by providing a stable and durable studio home on the property of their family or carer. The aim is to keep young people connected to care while giving them the space and independence they need, rather than have them leave home before they are properly prepared.

Over the years, we have seen that the outcomes for both the young person and the family are overwhelmingly positive.

We build one or two-bedroom studios (with bathroom) in the backyards of homes to assist carers in need of more room to accommodate young people in their care. Once the studio is no longer required, it is relocated to accommodate another young person in need. Each studio provides a stable space for a young person to grow and study while keeping them connected to their family and reducing the risk of them being forced to leave home prematurely.

Today*, Kids Under Cover studios house around 1,000 young people each night in Victoria and we are in the process of expanding our Studio Program interstate, with delivery of studios in process across South Australia.

*Updated January 2024.

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Who we support

The program supports people aged 12 to 25 who have been identified by community service organisations as experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

The risk can arise for countless and complex reasons, often a result of overcrowding, relationship breakdowns, mental health challenges or conflict within the household.

Providing the space to find relief and a chance to ‘breathe’ can be life-changing. Studio occupants also enjoy a sense of independence and a renewed opportunity to thrive.

Studio design

Our studios are sustainable, heat efficient and durable – constructed from Durra Panel a sustainably sourced building material produced in Bendigo that insulates against sound and heat while being stronger, safer, and superior to plasterboard. Durra Panel is made from reclaimed wheat straw waste that is 100% recyclable and biodegradable.

Each studio includes a bathroom, and a study nook in each bedroom so the young person(s) can have a suitable place to study and/or relax. The studio doesn’t have a kitchen – an intentional design choice that encourages young people to stay connected to their families and carers at key moments like meal times.

Studio construction

Studios are prefabricated by our construction partners at Ortech in Bendigo, with the entire building packed up as a flat-packed kit with pre-assembled frames and transported via truck to the installation location.

Once the kit arrives at the property where it will be installed, our builders at Harris HMC assemble the kit in-situ in the family’s backyard – Erected and fully fitted within 10 days.


Every studio is regularly monitored and maintained by Kids Under Cover, ensuring ongoing quality control and maximum longevity.

Our maintenance teams provide general repairs throughout the lifetime of the studio as well as annual maintenance checks to ensure everything is working properly so the young resident can stay safe and comfortable in their living space.


Once the studio is no longer required, it can be relocated to accommodate another young person in need.

Every studio is demountable and able to be flat-packed for relocation up to four times, before being craned onto a truck and transported to its next location to provide relief to more young people and their families.

Build time

Once the application is approved and funding has been allocated, Kids Under Cover will work in partnership with builders, local councils, the social worker and the family to start planning for the Studio installation.

The time it takes from approval of application varies depending on many different factors, such as council approvals and build programs. Once everything is in place building the studio onsite usually takes between 10-15 day

The impact of our studios

Young people, families and carers of young people seek our support for endlessly diverse and often complex reasons. When every situation is unique, it can be challenging to assess whether Kids Under Cover’s programs are catering to each specific set of needs, in the most effective way possible.

To accurately gauge this, and determine what we can do better to support young people and their families, we find the best way is to simply ask them. Read more about the impact of a Kids Under Cover studio for young people and their families in our most recent Studio Program Impact Survey.

Applying for a studio

Our application process is simple and straightforward, but rigorous, working with Case Workers, Support Workers and Community Service Organisations to ensure young people in most urgent need can get the space they need to thrive. If you are a young person at risk of homelessness, or someone who cares for one, you will need to contact a Community Service Organisation who can apply for a studio on your behalf.

Help ease the pressure for families in crisis

Please consider donating to Kids Under Cove to help us to deliver studios to the families in need.