New house to provide accommodation for vulnerable youth

A newly built therapeutic residential care home for young people was opened today in Southern Tasmania by Premier Will Hodgman.

The purpose-built five-bedroom home had been planned, developed and funded by CatholicCare Tasmania for its therapeutic residential care (TRC) program, Inspire@HOME which provides safe accommodation and support for young people between the ages of 12 and 18 who are under state guardianship.

Now in operation, the house provides accommodation for two occupants with another two likely to be welcomed in the near future.

The rooms for the young people are minimally furnished, allowing the young people themselves to decide on how they will decorate and personalise their space.

Premier Hodgman spoke briefly to the small crowd gathered for the opening, before taking part in a tree planting in the front garden of the house.

He wished all the young people who will spent time in the house ‘the very best’.

“It feels like a warm place,” Premier Hodgman said, noting that the details that the house is still lacking will come from the young people themselves.

“I think it’s a wonderful thing to capture the hopes and the aspirations of the young people in a therapeutic setting.”

The young people are already making their mark on the house. Stuck to the refrigerator is a poster made by one young resident. It reads: ‘I heart my workers,’ and then lists the names of the house’s TRC workers.

“I love the space and my room is huge,” was an affirming comment of one 17-year-old resident, prior to the opening.

Executive Director of CatholicCare Tasmania Tim Gourlay, also present at the opening, said that CatholicCare is “very keen to improve the wellbeing and the positive social impact on residents”.

“What is exciting about this build is that it was co-designed with young people, and represents integration of service delivery by two arms within our organisation to achieve improved outcomes for vulnerable young people in Tasmania,” Mr Gourlay said.

With the addition of the new house, CatholicCare Tasmania is now able to provide shared TRC accommodation for up to 32 young people in Tasmania.

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