Youth at Risk (YaR)

The State Government is committed to improving the outcomes for all young people at risk in Tasmania, including those in greatest need that have come into contact with the statutory system (Child Safety or Youth Justice).

‘Youth at risk’ is a complex problem that requires collaborative intervention across government and non-government service sectors in order to identify risk and intervene earlier in the lives of vulnerable young people.

The Youth at Risk Strategy aligns and builds upon a number of reforms occurring across government including Strong Families, Safe Kids (Redesign of Child Safety Services), Safe Homes, Safe Families (the Family Violence Action Plan), Joined Up Human Services, Tasmania’s Affordable Housing Strategy and the Youth Suicide Prevention Plan.

Youth at Risk Strategy

Youth at Risk Strategy (accessible format)

Objective of the Youth at Risk Strategy

To provide the Tasmanian Government with a long term, financially sustainable, whole of government, strategic direction for responding to the safety and rehabilitative needs of young people.

Key Action Areas

Through a range of actions across seven key actions areas, the Youth at Risk Strategy will:

  1. Build a strong foundation for the Youth at Risk service system through the development of a vulnerability assessment tool and the formation of agreed outcomes based on the Child and Youth Wellbeing Framework;
  2. Provide timely and appropriate safety and supports for young people in out of home care and those engaged in the Youth Justice System;
  3. Increase awareness and create alternative pathways within the homelessness and housing system for young people at risk;
  4. Improve the education and employment opportunities for vulnerable young Tasmanians;
  5. Improve the health and wellbeing of our most vulnerable young people;
  6. Create safe and inclusive communities for young people; and
  7. Establish system wide overarching enablers to support the youth service sector.

Definition of Youth at Risk

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A full description of the definition is listed under the Definition Diagram Descriptive Text heading at the bottom of this webpage

Youth Matter – A practical guide to increase youth engagement and participation in Tasmania

Youth Matter was produced following wide ranging consultation with almost 400 young Tasmanians and delivers on Action #26 of the Youth at Risk Strategy.

It highlights the barriers to youth participation and provides ideas and insight on how services can encourage youth to participate.

The document also provides resources and tips on how service providers can communicate and engage more effectively with young people.

Youth Matter - Accessible Version

Custodial Youth Justice Options Paper

The Tasmanian Government’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) engaged Noetic Solutions Pty Ltd (Noetic) to develop an Options Paper for custodial youth justice models that are relevant to Tasmania’s unique needs. This Options Paper will be a key input into the broader Youth at Risk Strategy, which will provide the strategic direction for responding to the safety and rehabilitative needs of vulnerable young people. The Options Paper will also directly inform the development of a more detailed business case, functional brief and cost plan for the Tasmanian Government’s preferred option.

Read the Custodial Youth Justice Options Paper.

Read the Custodial Youth Justice Options Paper - Accessible Version

Consultation and Implementation

Young people, government, non-government and community stakeholders have been extensively consulted with and provided with a number of opportunities to inform and provide feedback during the development of the YaR Strategy.

The Department of Communities Tasmania is managing the implementation of the Strategy. Young people, government, non-government and community stakeholders will have additional opportunities to contribute to the Strategy during implementation.

If you would like to provide additional feedback on the Strategy or receive information on implementation milestones and priorities, please email

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Descriptive text version of Definition of "Youth at Risk" Diagram:

Any young person aged between 10 and 17 experiencing or displaying the following indicators of vulnerability (risk factors). If not addressed would expose the individual, family or community to significant harm (actual or potential).

  • Educational Disengagement
  • Homelessness
  • Family Violence
  • Family Troubles that Require Significant Family Supports
  • Social and Familial Isolation or Exclusion
  • Culture, Identity and Gender-Related Issues
  • Drug and Alcohol Addiction
  • Disability, Learning, Speech Impairments, etc
  • Violent or Self-harming Behaviours (including radicalisation)
  • Offending Behaviours
  • Problematic Sexualized Behaviours
  • Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation
  • Sexual Health Issues
  • Trauma
  • Suicidal Thoughts
  • Legal Problems
  • Mental Health Issues / Mental Illness