A step in the right direction

Anglicare Tasmania is part of a collaborative effort to support urgent action to address the issue of child homelessness.

A free, interactive forum coordinated by the City of Hobart, Anglicare, Colony 47 and the Youth Network of Tasmania to mark Homelessness Week will focus on strategies that will improve outcomes for children under the age of 16 who experience homelessness alone without a parent or guardian.

It will look at some recent policy developments, such as the release of the Tasmanian Government’s Under 16 Homelessness Policy Framework for comment. This framework comes out of the work of the Under 16 Homelessness Taskforce established in June 2019 and the Under 16 Homelessness Working Group established a year later.

Dr Catherine Robinson of Anglicare’s Social Action and Research Centre will be the guest MC at the forum. She is the author of the report #StayHome? The impact of COVID-19 on unaccompanied homeless children in Tasmania. She will be joined by the Commissioner for Children and Young People and representatives from a range of community agencies.

Catherine says Anglicare led the formation of a collaboration with the Youth Network of Tasmania and the Commissioner for Children and Young People and held the first event on unaccompanied homeless children in 2018.

“The sector and government already share a deep understanding of the problems faced by this highly vulnerable group,” she said.

The Government’s Under 16 Homelessness Policy Framework is a very positive step forward. The next step is making sure government agencies are clear about their roles and responsibilities in implementing the framework, so that we can achieve real change.

“Anglicare holds the strong view that a holistic response is required. Yes, the urgent need for safe and appropriate housing is central, but it’s essential that there are also other wrap-around supports that address mental health, education, the safety and alcohol and drug use patterns of these young people,” said Catherine.

You can read Anglicare’s submission on the draft framework, including four recommendations, here.

The forum will be held from 2.00 p.m. to 4.00 p.m. on Wednesday 4 August at the Hobart Town Hall. It’s not too late to register: you can do so by close of business today (Tuesday 3 August) by contacting Mark Joseph at the Hobart City Council: josephm@hobartcity.com.au or 6238 2772.

Meanwhile, Anglicare’s Housing Connect teams are out in the community this week raising awareness about homelessness in Tasmania. They are speaking with school groups in Burnie and hosting drop-in information sessions in shopping and community centres across Launceston and in George Town.

Homelessness Week - calendar of events

Can you help with a new research project?

Dr Catherine Robinson is currently undertaking interviews for a new project on the lived experience of waiting for social housing.

You can view Catherine’s project, ‘Waiting for social housing’ here.

The project aims to collect experiences of waiting from individuals and families on both the general and priority waiting lists.  It will draw attention to their ongoing unstable housing conditions and to the much broader range of negative impacts of waiting on all dimensions of their lives, from parenting to employment and community connectedness.

Housing and community support workers around the state are invited to help connect Catherine with clients who may interested in participating in a research interview to share their stories of waiting.  Catherine would like to follow participants over a 12 month period to more fully understand the lived impacts of waiting.

Please get in touch with Catherine by emailing her at catheriner@anglicare-tas.org.au

 

 

 

 

 

 

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