COVID-19: As told by WA children and young people
The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on WA children and young people have been captured in their own words by the Commissioner for Children and Young People.
Commissioner Colin Pettit said over 800 children and young people wrote to him during March to June on what they were seeing in their community, what they were feeling and what supports were helping them.
“While I am mindful that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over, this report captures the impacts and feelings of children during the first half of 2020,” Mr Pettit said.
“Children and young people are well aware of the world around them and absorb information and emotion from media reports, conversations with family and friends, and their interactions within the community.
“The feedback I received from children and young people during this time was insightful and mainly centred on mental health, changes to their education, connection to friends and family, access to recreation activities, concerns for family material basics and the possible future impacts on their lives.
“The responses came from children as young as five across metropolitan and regional areas, including remote communities and young people in contact with the justice system.
“These views and experiences have helped to inform several resources for parents, carers and organisations on supporting children and young people and also provide the voice of children for decision makers to consider in planning WA’s recovery phase.”
In February the Commissioner released the findings from WA’s first Speaking Out Survey, with almost 5,000 children and young people from across WA providing their views on wellbeing.
The Speaking Out Survey will be conducted again in 2021 and given the timing, will provide a comparison of how WA children and young people’s wellbeing has fared over this historic period.
“This comparative data will be important in monitoring for the longer term and ensuring that governments, communities and families can address impacts for children, young people and their families,” Mr Pettit said.
“I thank all of the young people who took the time to share their thoughts over the last few months, and the many organisations who supported them in doing so.”