This research highlights some of the challenges faced by children and young people in their middle years (eight to 12 years of age) who are being overlooked in policy and program design.
Not yet adolescents, but no longer children, these young people are increasingly experiencing complex challenges. The middle years are a critical time of development, often setting the trajectory of a person’s life course. When children and young people in this age group experience homelessness; are placed in out-of-home care; experience discrimination or stereotyping due to their gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status or sexual orientation; are victims of violence; or fail to achieve at school, it can lead to social isolation, poor mental health, and disengagement from school. Despite the critical nature of these formative years, they are in many ways hidden.
This report gives insights into recent trends and challenges for children and young people in their middle years and identifies how this age group can be better supported.