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More than shelter – outstanding actions to improve the response to children presenting alone to homelessness services

Homelessness Homeless youth Specialist homelessness services Child protection Out-of-home care New South Wales

This report assesses what New South Wales Department of Communities and Justice has done to improve the response to children who present alone to homelessness services since the Ombudsman’s first reported on this issue in 2018.

The report highlights that of the 2,379 children who presented alone to Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) in 2021–22, almost half (1,072; 45%) needed accommodation, and less than half of these received it (483; 45%).

The report also shows:

  • Aboriginal children continue to be highly over-represented. Year after year they comprise around a quarter of the 12-15 year-olds presenting alone to SHS.
  • Children in out-of-home care (OOHC) comprise more than 10% of the total number of children who are presenting as homeless or at risk of homelessness to SHS.
  • The number of 12-15 year-olds presenting alone has not declined over the last 3 years.
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