Families, Children & Young People

Families, Children & Young People


Our Vision

Tasmanian families have the support they need to live healthy lives and participate fully in their communities.

All Tasmanian children grow up in a safe, supportive and loving environment.

Tasmania’s young people are actively engaged in community life with ready access to the resources needed to develop their potential.

We can achieve this by:

  • All levels of government investing in support and services for families so that parents and children can fully develop their potential
  • Ensuring all policies targeted at families recognise that early intervention is key
  • Investing more in evidence-based initiatives such as Child and Family Centres
  • Rolling out of the Tasmanian Child and Youth Wellbeing Framework across all government departments, accompanied by robust reporting mechanisms and appropriate indicators and data
  • Please also refer to YNOT 

Child and Family Centres


Labor


Policy

Labor will open six new Child and Family Centres in its first term of government, built in areas of priority according to social disadvantage, educational attainment and health outcomes.


Rating
Rating Justification

Tasmania’s Child and Family Centres have been supported by multiple independent evaluations, and perfectly fit the criteria of supporting a strong future for Tasmanians and being equitable and evidence-based.

Greens


Policy

The Greens will focus on early development through proven programs that engage families, children and communities.

The Greens will roll out four Child and Family Centres in 2016/17, three in 2017/18, two in 2018/19 and two in 2019/20.

The Greens will work with smaller regions to deliver similar programs through existing infrastructure.


Rating
Rating Justification

Child and Family Centres provide a range of services to families with children from birth to age five. Centres work towards improving health and educational outcomes, build on family and community strengths, and provide pathways to successful complimentary programs like Launch into Learning.

Tasmania’s Child and Family Centres have been supported by multiple independent evaluations, and perfectly fit the criteria of supporting a strong future for Tasmanians and being equitable and evidence-based.

Liberals


Policy

The Liberals have committed to build six new Early Learning Hubs, co-locating Child and Family Centre-like services, childcare centres, and K-2 education. These hubs are to be located in Sorell, Kingborough, Glenorchy, East Tamar, West Ulverstone and Waratah-Wynyard.

The policy states “4 of them will be operational by 2024.”


Rating
Rating Justification

As these are to be located on the premises of existing schools, the proposal appears to be for the construction of Child and Family Centre-like service hubs and childcare centres in these communities.

Tasmania’s Child and Family Centres have been supported by multiple independent evaluations, and perfectly fit the criteria of supporting a strong future for Tasmanians and being equitable and evidence-based.

 

However, at least part of their success appears to be in their novel, non-school-like approach to community building. There needs to be an evidence base around replicating these successes while co-located on a school campus, including the role of programmes such as Launching into Learning. These solutions may be different for different communities.

Notably, the long time horizon for the Hubs’ opening pushes much of this investment into a subsequent term of government.

Ashley Detention Centre


Greens


Policy

The Greens will close Ashley Youth Detention Centre and replace it with two smaller centres, one in the North and one in the South, based on the Missouri Model, which focuses on a therapeutic alternative to punitive incarceration for youth. The centres will have 12 beds each based on the medium security facility design, with an on-site high security four bed facility.


Rating
Website
Rating Justification

This announcement appears to be consistent with the recommendations of a government-commissioned report which found that the Ashley model of care was leading to high recidivism rates, and that refurbishing Ashley would not make it fit-for-purpose. The report recommended two 12-bed facilities in Hobart and Launceston.

TasCOSS believes that more resources need to be put into evidence-based alternatives to detention such as early intervention or diversion programs. This ‘justice reinvestment’ approach has been shown to produce better justice outcomes.

Justice reinvestment is a localised criminal justice policy approach that diverts a portion of the funds for imprisonment to local communities where there is a high concentration of offenders. The money that would have been spent on imprisonment is reinvested in programs and services in communities where these issues are most acute in order to address the underlying causes of crime in those communities. Justice reinvestment is not just about reforming the criminal justice system but trying to prevent people from getting there in the first place.

Liberal


Policy

Liberals will keep the Ashley Youth Detention Centre open.


Rating
Rating Justification

This announcement goes against the recommendations of a government-commissioned report which found that the Ashley model of care was leading to high recidivism rates, and that refurbishing Ashley would not make it fit-for-purpose. The report recommended two 12-bed facilities in Hobart and Launceston.

TasCOSS believes that more resources need to be put into evidence-based alternatives to detention such as early intervention or diversion programs. This ‘justice reinvestment’ approach has been shown to produce better justice outcomes.

Labor


Policy

Labor will keep the Ashley Youth Detention Centre open, despite acknowledging it as inappropriate.

 


Rating
Rating Justification

This announcement goes against the recommendations of a government-commissioned report which found that the Ashley model of care was leading to high recidivism rates, and that refurbishing Ashley would not make it fit-for-purpose. The report recommended two 12-bed facilities in Hobart and Launceston.

TasCOSS believes that more resources need to be put into evidence-based alternatives to detention such as early intervention or diversion programs. This ‘justice reinvestment’ approach has been shown to produce better justice outcomes.

Out Of Home Care (OOHC)


Labor


Policy

Moving On Program: Labor will invest in the Kennerley Moving on Program to empower young people aged 15 years and over leaving the OOHC system to transition to independence.

Labor’s investment will deliver 16 new units for young people, supported by a specialist coordinator.


Rating
Website
Rating Justification

The evidence is that extending care to 21 years results in greater employment opportunities, increased educational participation and reduced homelessness for Tasmania’s young people.

Liberal


Policy

Increasing the Out of Home Care age to 21, and providing incentive payments to both foster carers and young people for completing their Tasmanian Certificate of Education (TCE).


Rating
Rating Justification

The evidence is that extending care to 21 years results in greater employment opportunities, increased educational participation and reduced homelessness for Tasmania’s young people.

Incentives for completing the TCE are welcome but not sufficient – personal and structural barriers that impede a young person’s ability to continue schooling must also be addressed

Supported Accommodation


Labor


Policy

Providing supported accommodation for young people aged 13-15 at risk of homelessness.


Rating
Website
Rating Justification

Anglicare Tasmania research has shown that young people in this age group are particularly vulnerable, and need medium- and long-term supported accommodation. This policy is a step in the right direction but longer timeframes are needed to support this vulnerable group if the best outcomes are to be achieved for them.

Health and Wellbeing


Labor


Policy

Labor will introduce regular classes on health and wellbeing, with a specific focus on mental health.


Rating
Rating Justification

The evidence shows young people 16-24 have the highest occurrence of mental illness of any age bracket, and that they need support to manage their health and wellbeing.

Liberal


Policy

Investing in Tasmanians in need:

– Intensive family support including support for at-risk youth – more families to receive early intervention; therapeutic  support for vulnerable young people

– Strengthening permanency placements – targeted funding to prevent multiple placements for children in OOHC

– Support for young mums and their babies – funding to enable Karinya to support young mothers through an intervention service and supported accommodation

– Whole of Government Sexual Violence Action Plan – funding to research and develop a multidisciplinary model.


Rating
Rating Justification

All of these policies target vulnerable children, young people and/or their families, and are thus addressing an historical inequity in resourcing for these groups. There isn’t a clear evidence base for all of the programs so we would encourage the Liberal Party to ensure that, where the evidence base is lacking, monitoring and evaluation of each program is used to assess outcomes. The policies are future-focused because they are investing in people to help them reach their potential.

Greens


Policy

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse made comprehensive recommendations about the changes needed to ensure survivors are able to seek redress. The Federal Government has committed to a national Redress Scheme from 1 July 2018. To be effective and deliver a measure of justice, the Scheme requires the Commonwealth, States and Territories to sign up.

The National Redress Scheme would have the State and Commonwealth as funders of last resort in instances where the victim is unable to get compensated by the institution in which abuse occurred. The Greens will provide the State contribution to the Royal Commission’s recommendation for a National Redress Scheme.

 


Rating
Rating Justification

A national redress scheme ensures that all survivors of child sexual abuse in institutional settings such as church and charitable organisations have access to justice, regardless of the state or territory in which the abuse occurred and the state or territory in which they now live.

Labor


Policy

Labor will legislate to build a path toward lifting Tasmania’s immunisation rates above 95% with the ultimate aim of achieving a 100% coverage among Tasmanian children. Child care centres and primary schools will be given the authority to refuse enrolment to families and children who are not fully immunised by amending the Public Health Act.

 


Rating
Rating Justification

Tasmania’s immunisation rates are slightly below the national average, and in some parts of Tasmania the rates are much lower. This policy will provide an incentive for parents to ensure their children are fully vaccinated.

Liberal


Policy

A new Ticket to Play sports voucher offering $100 towards club fees will remove the biggest barrier to Tassie kids participating in sport.

A Hodgman Liberal Government will offer $100 sports vouchers to young Tasmanians who need it most, aged between five and 17 years, to assist them into sport.

The Ticket to Play voucher will be available to about 30,000 Tasmanian students whose parent or guardian holds a Centrelink Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card.


Rating
Rating Justification

This policy would make sport and recreational opportunities more accessible for those families who find it hard or impossible to pay registration fees. The evaluation will help assess the evidence base (particularly levels of uptake), it addresses equity issues in access, and supports a strong future for Tasmanians by addressing an aspect of social determinants of health – inactivity.

Greens


Policy

The Greens will design an LGBTI anti-bullying program for our schools and fund the development of evidence based inclusive, relevant and sensitive sexual health education programs for our schools.


Rating
Rating Justification

Research shows that LGBTI young people face more intense and/or different forms of bullying and violence than heterosexual young people. They also report that traditional sex education programs aren’t useful or relevant to them. Introducing evidence-based programs tailored for LGBTI young people addresses equity issues in the current delivery of this information, is based on evidence (the sexual health education dimension; the Greens haven’t stated that anti-bullying program would be evidence-based) and is focused on supporting the future wellbeing of LGBTI young people.