No home, no safety
Australian researchers have released the first ever national snapshot report on ‘the experience, impact and support needs of homeless youth’, with a further report on the economic costs of youth homelessness due in late 2015. Three large areas of concern revealed are: the homelessness pathway young people embark upon; the links between homelessness and poor mental health; and the causal impact of family and domestic violence.
More than half of young people aged under 25 who receive support from homeless services had slept rough at least once prior to turning 18, and 63% of homeless youth surveyed had been placed in some form of out of home care by the time they had turned 18.
Some 53% of homeless youth had been diagnosed with at least one mental health condition in their lifetime, and 39% of homeless youth reported police had attended their homes following violence between parents on one or more occasions.
The research, from Swinburne University of Technology’s Institute for Social Research, the University of Western Australia’s Centre for Social Impact, and Charles Sturt University, was undertaken in partnership with The Salvation Army, Mission Australia, and Anglicare NSW South, NSW West and the ACT.
Salvation Army territorial media relations director * Dr Bruce Redman said the report confirmed what their services had been experiencing recently: ‘As the largest provider of homelessness services across the country, The Salvation Army is seeing a concerning increase in the number of youth accessing our 40 homelessness services and support networks spread across Australia.’
Close to 400 young Australians participated in this study during three consecutive years.
* Dr Redman represents The Salvation Army’s Australia Southern Territory, encompassing Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
The Cost of Youth Homelessness
An interim ‘Cost of youth homelessness’ report captures the struggle of homeless youth throughout Australia.
18 Feb 2015 |