In accordance with Part 5 of the Advocate for Children and Young People Act 2014, the Advocate for Children and Young People (NSW) has established a special inquiry into children and young people in alternative care arrangements (ACAs). This includes the use of hotels, motels and other settings for placements, to understand the experience of those children and young people in their own words.
In 2022 the Advocate released a report based on consultations with children and young people in out-of-home care (OOHC), which included the experiences of children and young people in a range of settings, including ACAs.
“I was sent back to hotels until they could find me another placement. Hotels specifically are something I have a gripe with, with regards to safety, because you’re getting up and you’re moving every two weeks. You’re never in the same place, so it’s never stable…I was in hotels for six months.”
As of 30 June 2023, there were more than 100 children and young people in ACAs across NSW, including 26 children in hotels and motels, 37 in serviced apartments and 55 in short-term rentals including caravan parks.
The Advocate, based on conversations that informed the OOHC report and recent reports about ongoing systemic issues in regard to the use of ACAs in NSW, is concerned about the welfare and wellbeing of children and young people - both those who are currently in those arrangements and those who may have experienced those arrangements previously.
A key component of the inquiry will be speaking directly with children and young people to hear about their experiences in ACAs, and explore what changes can made to better support them and others in the future.
If you have any questions about this inquiry, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0461 252 921.