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At Risk Children and Young People Still Let Down

31 Aug 2018

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens’ Leader

Tasmania’s under-resourced child protection system continues to let down at risk children and young people.

The Commissioner for Children’s latest report on the health and wellbeing of young Tasmanians confirms around 40% of children in out of home care do not have an approved care plan.

This will be impacting on the quality of their lives and capacity to cope with the trauma they have suffered.

While dedicated child safety staff undoubtedly do their best, the system remains crisis driven with too little resourcing to ensure timely investigations and individually tailored case management.

For nearly five years the Liberals in government have been promising a better deal for at risk children and young people, but the results aren’t being delivered yet.

Notifications are up, investigations are delayed by weeks and months, and caseloads are dangerously high.

Young Tasmanians deserve so much better than this. 

The Commissioner’s report also lays bare the housing stress and hardship too many young Tasmanians are experiencing. 

Disproportionately represented in homelessness data, more than a third of applicants for specialist homelessness services are Tasmanians under the age of eighteen.

The need for a substantial investment in affordable housing choices for young people has never been more pressing.

Minister Jaensch must redouble government efforts to make considerable improvements to the lives of young Tasmanians.

On behalf of the Tasmanian Greens, I’d like to thank the Commissioner for Children and his team for their ongoing dedication to the health and happiness of young Tasmanians