A Renewed Commitment To Address Youth Homelessness
Our new report proposes the development of a national strategy to end youth homelessness.
The National Youth Commission Australia’s Inquiry into Youth Employment and Transitions is focused on how young people can be better prepared and supported in their transition from school to work, now and in the future. Inevitably, during transitions to independence, some young people face housing issues leading to homelessness.
The Commission heard many stories about how young people’s experiences of homelessness had an impact on their completion of secondary school, re-engaging with education and training as well as gaining and sustaining employment.
The Commission proposes the development of a national strategy to end youth homelessness by using the following principles to design the strategy:
Co-design: young people with experience of homelessness should be front and centre in the design and implementation of the strategy.
Ownership: the strategy needs to be the responsibility of all agencies that work with and fund services for young people including housing and homelessness services, education systems and schools, health, and youth services.
Authoritative: the strategy should map the means to end youth homelessness, how that can be done, how long it might take and at what cost, to which governments, organisations and the community can refer.
Accountable: The strategy should include measurable goals and outcomes that governments and agencies are held responsible for achieving.
Homelessness amongst young people and their need for access to safe and affordable housing is a critical issue, not a new issue, but one that has been neglected and derailed from achieving an effective policy response. It is a human rights issue and not providing adequate resources to ensure young people have access to adequate support and housing is a breach of the Convention on the Rights of the Child that Australia has signed up to.