This year, World Children’s Day falls on Wednesday 20 November and is a global day of action for children’s rights. At Youth Off The Streets we are dedicated to helping those in need and over the years have changed the lives of countless young people and helped them achieve their full potential.
The painful reality is that youth homelessness is on the rise in Australia and more needs to be done to ensure the safety of our young people. We owe it to them to invest in crisis services and early intervention and prevention programs in order to break the cycles of disadvantage that these young people face every day.
In Australia, six in every 11 young people who are homeless and need assistance are turned away because there are not enough resources available to support them. Our young people’s safety and wellbeing should be a priority for the nation and yet we have left them without access to the services and opportunities that can help them to make the positive changes necessary for them to lead a meaningful life.
Without further investment into early intervention and crisis services, the homelessness rate for young people will continue to climb.
At Youth Off The Streets, we believe that every child should have access to education and be safe from harm. The first step in this is to create the right circumstances under which a young person can thrive. By connecting them with a safe home, engaging them in education and giving them the support they need, we can work with young people to achieve greatness in their lives.
This World Children’s Day we all need to speak up for children’s rights and accept that the safety and wellbeing of our young people is everyone’s responsibility.
 (AIHW, 2010-2011