TasCOSS has had a long involvement in advocating for children and young people living in difficult circumstances in Tasmania.
As the Under 16 (U16) Taskforce points out, the number of unaccompanied homeless children in Tasmania is relatively small. Using resources wisely and getting people working together across government departments and the community services industry is in the best interests of these children should not be beyond our capacity. Equally, diverting children at risk of homelessness into more secure circumstances and guiding those who fall through the cracks towards a better future should not be beyond our means.
While it may take increased investment of scarce resources in the short-term and some wise planning, coordination and upskilling, this will have untold long-term benefits not only for the children concerned but for the Tasmanian community.
TasCOSS believes that the draft framework is a good starting point for our collective response to the needs of unaccompanied homeless children in Tasmania, but it currently lacks clarity in some respects and needs further articulation.
Our response to the draft U16 Homelessness Policy Framework calls for the following actions:
- Oversight of responses to U16 homelessness
- Structural adjustments to the Policy Framework.
- Further detail regarding commitments.