The research project Too Hard? Highly vulnerable teens in Tasmania from Anglicare Tasmania documents the life histories of children and young people (aged 10-17 years) in Tasmania who are not subject to statutory child protection intervention but whose needs for care were outside the scope of families, government agencies and non-government services. The children and young people interviewed describe the accumulation of vulnerability over time, through critical development periods. A number of shared experiences were identified, including abandonment and violence during childhood and adolescence and exclusion from services and systems of support. Service providers identified a lack of capacity within specialist services and significant gaps in service provision that stymied engagement with the complex needs of these highly vulnerable children and young people.
The report contains four recommendations to the Tasmanian government to address gaps in care including establishing a specific program area for youth at risk with ongoing service innovation and tendering and creating new care services targeted to highly vulnerable young people that involve intensive family reconnection work and long-term, therapeutic, case coordination.