The Advocate for Children and Young People recently released a consultation report about what children and young people experiencing or at risk of homelessness have to say.
The Advocate undertook four consultations with 60 children and young people (30 male and 30 female) from four regions of NSW to discuss their experience of homelessness. The report details key themes and recommendations from these young people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
They also had some practical suggestions about what was needed to reduce youth homelessness. These included providing more youth-specific, violence-related services; increasing awareness of services by promoting them through social media, outdoor advertising, commercial radio and TV; improving access to services after hours and on weekends and offering more opportunities for homeless young people to learn how to drive.
In the consultations, children and young people spoke about their aspirations for ‘finishing school’, ‘getting my licence’, ‘getting a good job’, ‘saving some money’ and ‘being able to rent an apartment’. When asked what is working well, children and young people spoke favourably of support workers who ‘stuck their neck out’, ‘bent the rules’ and went above and beyond their basic responsibilities. When asked about what wasn’t working well, they spoke about not having enough to eat and skipping meals.
Violence was one of the major themes raised in the consultations as a key factor in becoming homeless. Children and young people feel greater recognition is needed in relation to the violence and abuse they have experienced and that greater respect and support is needed to overcome the trauma endured.
ACYP would like to thank all of the service providers who worked ensured that the voices of children and young people experiencing or at risk of homelessness were included in this report.
To download the report, please click the link below:
Browse through the report below:
If you would like to know more, please contact the office on 02 9248 0970.