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Better, Bigger, Stronger: Responding to the Mental Health Care Needs of Unaccompanied Homeless Children in Tasmania


Robinson, C, Better, Bigger, Stronger: Responding to the Mental Health Care Needs of Unaccompanied Homeless Children in Tasmania, Final Report, Anglicare Tasmania, Hobart Tasmania, pp. 1-92. (2022) [Government or Industry Research]

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What I’m trying to say is I’m one of the youths out there, and before they get to an adult age where they’re going to be stuck with a mental health issue, or they’re going to be stuck fucking homeless…What I’m trying to say is please get out there and help young youths and young people…because I know how it feels and every night I nearly cry myself to sleep because of how I feel and what I hear…I’m just saying what needs to be passed on.

In 2021 Anglicare Tasmania funded small-scale, targeted research to understand more about the neglected issue of mental ill-health experienced by Tasmania’s homeless children (aged 10-17), specifically those who experience homelessness unaccompanied by a parent or guardian. The research project employed a qualitative, transformational research approach, exploring the lived experience of children, young people and professionals in order to identify the key elements of ideal mental health care for unaccompanied homeless children, and the system, service and practice changes that could result in effective mental health care delivery for this cohort.

This report delivers the key findings and recommendations from the research. It offers insight into the lives and dreams of 15 Tasmanian children and young people who have experienced homelessness and mental ill-health alone. It also details the experiences of 65 Tasmanian professionals working mostly in community-based and school-based services, who all report struggling to respond to the complex and competing needs presented by this group of children.

The report recommends targeted efforts to deliver equitable access to early supports through primary schools and primary and allied health providers. It also recommends a strengthened response to unaccompanied children already experiencing homelessness and mental ill-health, including the concurrent provision of a complex mental health care service through CAMHS and a mobile care coordination service through Children, Youth and Families.

Item Details

Item Type:Government or Industry Research
Keywords:unaccompanied child homelessness, mental ill-health, mental health services, Tasmania
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Urban sociology and community studies
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Provision of health and support services
Objective Field:Provision of health and support services not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Robinson, C (Associate Professor Catherine Robinson)
ID Code:149942
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:Sociology and Criminology
Deposited On:2022-05-02
Last Modified:2022-05-02

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