The Hobart

Tassie Kids in Care Explore Belonging In New Book

by Lilian Koch
Tassie Kids in Care Explore Belonging In New Book

Leanne McLean is the Commissioner for Children and Young People in Tasmania. She has recently launched a new book, alongside children and young people in care, about their experiences.

What’s the purpose of this book and how did it come about? An important part of my role is to help children and young people have their voices heard and be involved in decision making in matters that impact their lives – and to make sure adults respect their rights to do so. Part of this work involves looking out for children and young people who are in out-of-home care, often referred to as being ‘in care’. When I talk with children and young people who are in care, I ask them their views on how well the out-of-home care system is working for them and what could be improved. This book came about as a result of a series of creative consul­tations and discussions I undertook over the past year with children and young people with a care experience to explore the theme of ‘Being Loved and Safe’. In exploring this theme, my conversations with children and young people focused particularly on what it means to have safety and stability while living in care. Simon Spain and Victoria Ryle from All That We Are also assisted by guiding young people in making, drawing, writing or talking about nests as another way of talking about ‘home’. Some children and young people created and published a small book of their own, to share with important people in their lives.

How was the book ‘Ok, so a nest is a home’ produced? I felt that the messages and artwork shared with me lent them­selves to being collated and presented together in a book format. In this book, you will see some of the thoughts, ideas and beautiful artwork created by children and young people during these important discussions. Sharing the experiences and views of children and young people with a care experience through a beauti­ful picture book is really important. It provides an accessible window through which readers can gain an understanding of the lives of Tasmanian children and young people with a care experience, and hear how things can be improved. It also allows those children and young people to share their experiences with others going through similar experiences so they know they’re not alone – and that’s also important.

How were the children and young people involved in this book chosen? All the children and young people with a care experience who contributed to the book did so voluntarily. I worked closely with out-of-home care providers, The Foster and Kinship Carers Association Tasmania and the CREATE Foundation to identify young Tasmanians who’d like to be involved. The out-of-home care engagement officer in my office and the creative team at All That We Are then pulled their words and artwork together into this beautiful book, with help from a small group of young people with a care experience and the CREATE Foundation. I can’t thank the children and young people enough for their generosity in sharing their time and thoughts.

The theme of this book is ‘Being Loved and Safe’. How is it addressed when being loved and safe may not reflect a number of children in out-of-home care? I think first of all we have to remember that, as this book shows, the experiences of each and every child with a care experience is unique – both before they come into a care arrangement and when they pass through it, as are the reasons why they came into out-of-home care in the first place. I was also very conscious when designing the consulta­tions that the concepts of being loved and safe do vary for each person but also that in some cases the concepts of loved and being safe which many people associate with ‘home’ can be triggering. For this reason, I decided with the team to explore these concepts through the idea of a ‘nest’. We asked questions like “What makes your nest stable? What makes your nest safe?” This allowed the children and young people to express what elements make up a nice nest. From there we were able to follow ideas they raised at the child’s pace, if they wished.

Love this

Cold Water Wake Up Call
It seems everywhere I turn someone is talking about or participating in cold water swimming right now.
A Short Geelong Getaway
Since the Spirit of Tasmania terminal moved from Melbourne to Geelong late last year, a visit to Geelong has been on the radar.
27 Hobart Friends Get Snipping For One Off Wine
The borders were declared shut in Tasmania on the 30th of March, 2020; the first stare to do so amid the COVID- 19 pandemic and hard lockdown of Hobart followed.
Danphe Nepalese and Indian Food + Peppermint Bay Bar and Bistro
Nepalese food is a comfort in our house. Having spent much time trekking and mountain climbing in Nepal as a younger man, Nepalese food is something I always love to go back to.
That’s DR Hannah Gadsby To You
From Smithton to Netflix and the Emmys stage, Tasmanian stand up comic Hannah Gadsby has forged an unlikely path. Following on from the massive success of her shows Nanette and Douglas, Hannah brings her new show Body of Work to Hobart this month.
PODCAST: Incat founder Robert Clifford on why electric boats are the future
Robert Clifford is the founder of Incat, a Hobart company building fast ferries for the world. Always looking to future opportunities, he has identified where Hobart sits in the next wave of transportation. For more of this interview listen to The Hobart Magazine podcast.
Is Tourism Ready For More Forestry Wars?
Tasmanian forests are special. They’re home to centuries-old trees, including the tallest flowering trees on the planet, and support unique native species. Yet not everyone agrees on how these forests should be managed.
Hobart Chefs: When The Obsession Becomes Real
Tasmania’s brand as a foodie haven is cemented. But within the local hospitality industry there are those who love to use local produce...and those who are next-level obsessed with it. We spoke to a bunch of Hobart chefs who are top of the game when it comes to fostering relationships with local farmers and growers.
Did You Know Australia’s First Female Doctor Was Hobartian?
Tasmania, despite its small size and population in comparison to the mainland, has produced more than its proportionally predicted percentage of significant figures and heroes of Australian history. 
Return Travellers Adding Pressure to Hobart Housing
For all of us 2020 was a year like no other, punctuated by rapid change and plenty of new challenges. For vulnerable people in Tasmania, including people facing homelessness, those on low incomes and those facing increasingly higher rents, it was very challenging. We are seeing a growing demand for homes in Tassie from international travellers returning home, people moving for work and others seeking the lifestyle that our Apple Isle has to offer.
AboutContributeAdvertiseNewsletter Sign UpContact
February 2024

Stay up to date with everything happening at the Hobart Magazine.

Thank you to Luke Brokensha for mobilising his friends and local residents recently to host two rubbish clean ups along the Hobart Rivulet after heavy rains.
The warm weather returns...hello summer.
Need a laugh? Check out @theinspiredunemployed feed on Instagram.
Moto Vecchia Cafe in Bellerive and Czegs Cafe in Richmond have joined the Clarence City Council dementia program, creating dementia-friendly spaces for all patrons.
It’s hard to believe it’s not standard practice to have a working phone in every aged care room - shared phones make private conversations impossible and increase the risk of spreading COVID-19.
Tacks on the tracks. Mountain bikers beware of tacks being left on certain tracks on the mountain.
Just when you think your cousins are alright. NZ Opposition Leader Judith Collins took aim at Tassie during her recent (unsuccessful) campaign, calling us Australia’s “poor cousin.” She also seems worried about us nabbing tech businesses, “It’s a lovely part of the world but do you necessarily want to go there with your high- tech business? Possibly not,” she said. We beg to differ!