The Commissioner for Children and Young People Leanne McLean today launched a new book, ‘OK, so a nest is a home – Views and experiences of Tasmanian children and young people in out-of-home care’.
Ms McLean said an important part of her role as Commissioner is to promote and empower the participation of children and young people in the making of decisions, or the expressing of opinions, on matters that may affect their lives – including children living in Out of Home Care in Tasmania which includes foster care, kinship care and residential care in Tasmania.
“Every night, about 1100 Tasmanian children and young people are in out-of-home care. That is about 1 in every 100 or 1% of children and young people in communities across the State,” Ms McLean said.
“In 2021-22, as part of my Out-of-Home Care Monitoring Program, it was my great pleasure to undertake a series of creative consultations and discussions with children and young people with a care experience to explore the theme of ‘Being Loved and Safe’.
“These consultations also delivered stunning artworks and candid quotes about young Tasmanians’ experiences and views about out-of-home care.
“These have been brought together, with the help of the creative organisation All That We Are, in a beautiful picture book.”
Ms McLean said OK, so a nest is a home provides an easily accessible and honest insight into the lives of Tasmanian children and young people with a care experience.
“Later this year my office will release a report around the theme of Being Loved and Safe. But right now, I want to draw everyone’s focus to what Tasmanian children and young people have told me themselves about the safety and stability of their lives.”
“There is so much we can learn when we listen to what children and young people have to say – this beautiful book contains heartfelt insights about what is and is not working well for some children and young people in out-of-home care.
“By talking more about out-of-home care and the experiences of children and young people, we will be better able to give them the support they need and deserve – and improve the systems that are there to support them.”
Ms McLean said her office has provided every library in Tasmania with copies of OK, so a nest is a home.
“I will be holding launch events in libraries around the State – check our social media for details (Facebook: commissionerforchildrentas; Instagram: @child_comm_tas; Twitter: @Child_Comm_Tas)
“I’d like to thank all the Tasmanian children and young people who contributed to this important piece of work.
“I’d also like to thank Libraries Tasmania for this amazing opportunity to partner with them to reach communities around the state with these important messages.”
An electronic version of the book is available here.