Coronavirus information for children and those who support them
A new flu-like disease was discovered in China in late 2019. This disease, called coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused by a newly discovered germ belonging to the coronavirus family of viruses.
Children and young people in Tasmania are affected in different ways by the disease itself, as well as by the changes to normal daily life that are resulting as we try to stop the disease spreading from person to person. It is natural that you may have many questions about this new disease and the changes you are experiencing and observing around you.
On this page, we will provide information which we hope you, your friends and the adults in your life will find useful.
Advocating for children and young people during the pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic is throwing up new challenges for children and young people in Tasmania. In addition to her usual work, the Commissioner is monitoring the effect of the pandemic on children and young people, talking to children, their carers and service providers about these issues, and advocating for necessary changes to ensure the rights of children are maintained. She is closely monitoring the short, medium and long-term effects of the pandemic on children and young people in Tasmania, with a particular focus on the needs of those who are vulnerable or disadvantaged for any reason.
The Commissioner has developed a COVID-19 Pandemic Framework, which sets out, at a high level, the focus and scope of her work during the response phase of the pandemic in Tasmania.
COVID-19 Monitoring Insights
The Commissioner for Children and Young People, Leanne McLean, is monitoring the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on children and young people in Tasmania – and advocating for their wellbeing to be central to response and recovery strategies.
The COVID-19 Monitoring Insights is a series of briefs that provide snapshots of specific areas of the Commissioner’s monitoring activities, especially during April – June 2020. While evidence of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on children and young people is still emerging, these briefs are intended to provide insights into the Tasmanian experience during the COVID-19 pandemic and to outline some key learnings for policy and practice across agencies and other organisations delivering services contributing to the wellbeing of Tasmanian children.
We’ll update these as the situation develops and the official advice changes, or to answer any new questions.
ABC Hobart Radio Question and Answer session on coronavirus for young people
On 24 March and again on 31 March 2020, the Commissioner for Children and Young People was joined by Jeremy Rockliff – the Deputy Premier of Tasmania and Minister for Education – and Dr Scott McKeown, the Deputy Director of Public Health to answer your questions about coronavirus.
You can listen to the first hour-long show on ABC Hobart Drive here and the second half hour show here.
Another question and answer session will be held on ABC Hobart Drive on Wednesday 31 April 2020 at 4PM.
Feel free to send any questions you may have about coronavirus to the Commissioner at email@example.com. She will either answer it on the next Q&A session, add it to our FAQ page but will also reply back to you.
CREATE Question and Answer Session for Children and Young People in Care
In April 2020, CREATE in Tasmania hosted a Zoom Q+A Forum where CREATE Young Consultants asked a range of representatives questions about COVID-19 and what it means for children and young people in care. The Tasmanian Minister for Human Services Roger Janesch, Commissioner for Children and Young People Leanne McLean, Deputy Director of Public Health with Health TAS and Child Advocate Sonja Pringle Jones answered a wide range of questions from CREATE’s MCs Jubilee, Zara, Nicola, Derek, Tara and Jerran.
Deputy Premier Jeremy Rockliff, Deputy Director of Public Health, Dr Scott McKeown, and Commissioner for Children and Young People, Leanne McLean answer your questions on ABC Hobart Drive.
How to have fun while staying safe: #safelysocial activities
One of the questions the CCYP office is most often asked by young people is, “What can I do now my sports/parties/cinema/etc. have stopped and we have to practice social distancing?” Another is, “How can I keep in contact with friends and family with all the changes to hanging out in groups and visiting vulnerable people?”
We asked Tassie kids to send us examples of activities – new ones that you have taken up or old ones that you have changed a bit – so that, despite coronavirus, you can still have fun, be active, and catch up with your friends and loved ones.
Visit our Instagram account @child_comm_tas to see what other people have come up with.
Are you feeling worried or anxious about coronavirus? Speak with your family or carers, friends, a teacher or someone else you trust. There are also services that can give support and guidance to children and young people who are having difficult feelings. Please see details below.
WHO parenting in the time of COVID-19 – in addition to other useful advice, this page also includes six one-page tips for parents cover planning one-on-one time, staying positive, creating a daily routine, avoiding bad behaviour, managing stress, and talking about COVID-19. Use them to your and your kids’ advantage, and have fun in doing so.
Early childhood-focussed COVID-19 Resources – materials in a number of languages; includes a range of resources for parents, early childhood workers and professions in supporting children and talking to children about COVID 19. Some daily play ideas for the early years in limited space, and some support ideas for homeschooling for older children, with a section also for children with a disability