Supporting our vulnerable young people

Roger Jaensch,Minister for Human Services

Protecting the health, safety and wellbeing of Tasmania’s vulnerable children and young people is an absolute priority for the Tasmanian Government.

The Many Colours One Direction (MC1D) program is a therapeutic residential placement program delivered by the Brahminy Foundation, in collaboration with the Australian Childhood Foundation.

The Australian Childhood Foundation provides both clinical oversight and on-ground support in the Northern Territory to apply an evidence-based, trauma-informed approach.

The program provides placements for Tasmanian young people who have very complex needs and where conventional care approaches are neither suitable or safe. Many of these children have experienced significant trauma in their lives and have a range of complex behavioural and emotional needs.

The Government takes the concerns of families very seriously and in 2017 the program was reviewed independently of Government, and again in December 2019 by Tasmania’s Child Advocate to ensure it is adequately meeting the needs of the young people who engage with it.

Both reviews concluded it provides a safe environment for young people and is an effective program to support those with exceptionally complex needs.

Department of Communities Tasmania staff also regularly visit young people placed at MC1D – as recently as this month – and work with the families of the young people engaged with the program.

However, in light of the concerns raised, I have asked my Department to look into those matters to ensure the program continues to operate as intended.

The Government has committed to engage and work with Aboriginal communities and organisations to scope an ‘on country’ residential program delivered in Tasmania by Aboriginal people, which may reduce the need to access placements in the future.

Anyone who has specific concerns for the welfare and safety of any Tasmanian children and young people should contact the Strong Families, Safe Kids Advice and Referral Line on 1800 000 123 so their concerns can be properly considered

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