Skip to content
CharitiesAidWelfare, Youth

New National data shows we need urgent action to reduce homelessness of children and young people

Yfoundations 3 mins read
New national data shows 3in10 clients attending Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) were under the age of 18. Almost 40,000 SHS clients in 2022-23 were children and young people (15-24) presenting on their own.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) data 2022-23 released today paints an alarming picture of the scale and spread of child and youth homelessness in Australia, says peak organisation Yfoundations

The capacity of homelessness services has fallen by almost 17,000 clients a year in recent times and services face a $73 million funding shortfall from June 2024.

In 2022-23, three in ten SHS clients were under the age of 18. Almost 40,000 of SHS clients in 2022-23 were children and young people (15-24) presenting on their own. Similar to previous years, females and First Nations people were over-represented in these figures.

“We see very similar trends in NSW, where almost 50% of people seeking help from a Specialist Homelessness Services were under 25,” said Trish Connolly, Yfoundations CEO. “There has also been a significant rise in rough sleeping among young people presenting alone."

“It’s particularly concerning that about half of young people presenting alone suffered mental health issues and one-third experienced family and domestic violence, according to the national data.

“Services tell us that children and young people who come to them for help are escaping domestic and family violence however the data doesn’t reflect the true scale of the problem," said Ms Connolly.

In 2022/23, every day, 295 people who needed a crisis bed or help were turned away because services were at capacity. We believe, these numbers will be much higher in reality,because we know that children and young people will couch surf, remain in violent homes, or sleep rough because they have no idea that services exist.  Even if they did, the report demonstrates they are unlikely to get a bed tonight because services are full.

“Sadly,these figures show nothing has changed; it’s only become worse with a significant increase in people being turned away from getting a crisis bed or service,” said Ms Connolly.

“Current strategies are not working and we hope the Federal and State Governments take this into consideration when they’re developing the National Housing and Homelessness Plan and Agreement in 2024. Governments must urgently respond to the homelessness crisis by increasing investment in services but unfortunately, funding is on the decline.

It's clear that the broader rental, housing and cost of living crises, which show no sign of subsiding, is putting more pressure on already underfunded homelessness service providers and making it harder for children and young people in desperate situations to find a home.

 

“A staggering number of children and young people turn up to services alone. Many of them have a mental health issue, are escaping domestic and family violence or have a drug and alcohol issue. They are incredibly vulnerable and continue to be neglected in government funding and responses.

 “We need governments to commit to bold, decisive steps to get this crisis under control. The Federal Government should follow the NSW Government’s lead and commit to developing a standalone Child and Youth Homelessness and Housing Plan.

 “A standalone Child and Youth Homelessness and Housing Plan could be instrumental in changing the lives of many children and young people for the better if it provides for sufficient long-term funding, commits to an ambitious target for eradicating child and youth homelessness within a reasonable time frame and prioritises the lived expertise of those who have experienced homelessness as a child or young person,” concluded Ms Connolly.


 


Key Facts:

The capacity of homelessness services has fallen by almost 17,000 clients a year

Services face a $73 million funding shortfall from June 2024.

In 2022-23, three in ten SHS clients were under the age of 18.

Almost 40,000 of SHS clients in 2022-23 were children and young people (15-24) presenting on their own.

Similar to previous years, females and First Nations people were over-represented in these figures.


About us:

Yfoundations is the NSW peak body providing a voice for children and young people at risk of and experiencing homelessness, as well as the services that provide direct support to them. The Yfoundations network of over 50 organisations across NSW aims to create a future without youth homelessness by campaigning for children and young people experiencing and at risk of homelessness. We work collaboratively with service providers, NGOs, government departments and community members to provide advocacy, sector development and policy advice, health projects, research, and services for children and young people.


Contact details:

Carolin Wenzel ph: 0417 668 957

E: carolin@commsforchange.com.au

Hannah Thomas ph: 0457 438 358

E: hannah@yfoundations.org.au

Media

More from this category

  • CharitiesAidWelfare, Political
  • 28/02/2024
  • 18:10
ACOSS

***MEDIA ALERT*** ACOSS responds to Senate inquiry into poverty

Media alert | Thursday, 29 February 2024 ACOSS CEO Cassandra Goldie and Social Security Program Director Charmaine Crowe will hold a media conference responding to a Senate inquiry into poverty in Australia. Where: Mural Hall, Australian Parliament House, Canberra When: 9.15am Thursday, 29 February 2024 Who: ACOSS CEO Cassandra Goldie and Social Security Program Director Charmaine Crowe What: Responding to the findings of the Senate Community Affairs References Committee's inquiry into the extent and nature of poverty in Australia For more information, contact Georgie Moore 0477 779 928

  • CharitiesAidWelfare, Government Federal
  • 28/02/2024
  • 17:43
Homelessness Australia

Homelessness funding guarantee will save critical jobs

Homelessness Australia has strongly endorsed the Federal Government’s decision to plug a $73 million funding shortfall for homelessness services. Funding for the Equal Remuneration Order (ERO) supplementation for homelessness services to cover the wages of the workforce was due to expire in July 2024 Homelessness Australia CEO Kate Colvin congratulated the Government for listening to front-line homelessness workers. “This decision, communicated in the Housing and Homelessness Ministerial Council meeting communique released today, will give certainty to hundreds of homelessness workers who are on the front lines of the housing crisis,” she said. “The Federal Government has listened to a broad…

  • CharitiesAidWelfare, Medical Health Aged Care
  • 28/02/2024
  • 10:00
Bowel Cancer Australia

New Bowel Prep Resource to Help Things Run Smoother

New resource to help people ‘bowel prep’ for a good colonoscopy. Inadequate bowel preparation observed in 7%[i] of colonoscopies, which can lead to repeat…

  • Contains:

Media Outreach made fast, easy, simple.

Feature your press release on Medianet's News Hub every time you distribute with Medianet. Pay per release or save with a subscription.