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Youth Justice

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This page was updated on 04 September 2020. To view changes, please see page updates

Among other key functions, the Department of Youth Justice is responsible for:

  • the administration of the Youth Justice Act 1992
  • the management of:
    • youth detention centres
    • youth justice service centres
    • youth justice conferencing
    • court services specific to youth justice proceedings
    • undertaking intervention with young people in contact with the youth justice system.

A young person in contact with the youth justice system is a young person who is not diverted from the youth justice system when they come to the attention of police. This includes a young person referred to a restorative justice conference, sentenced to a community-based order or detained in a youth detention centre.

Respond when a young person is subject to intervention with parental agreement and is in contact with the youth justice system

In circumstances where a young person is subject to an intervention with parental agreement case and is in contact with the youth justice system, collaborate with the young person’s parents and Youth Justice to share information. This will assist in providing an effective response to the young person’s needs.

Attention

The Youth Justice Act 1992 requires the person with custody or guardianship of the young person to participate in youth justice matters. When a young person is subject to an intervention with parental agreement, the young person’s parent is required to participate in all youth justice processes (where a parent is required).

The youth justice case worker is responsible for directly liaising with the child’s parents about all youth justice matters.

Ensure service delivery coordination

A coordinated approach to service delivery assists the young person, the young person’s parents, Youth Justice and Child Safety to have a shared understanding of the young person’s circumstances. This includes sharing information about the worries for the family and the supports the young person needs.

While a young person is subject to intervention with parental agreement and is in contact with the youth justice system:

  • Inform the young person and family of Child Safety’s legal obligation to liaise with Youth Justice. (Refer to Share information with youth justice.)
  • Work collaboratively with the parents and Youth Justice to address the young person’s needs and to support them in developing new behaviours.
  • Invite the youth justice case worker to participate in case planning meetings and reviews.
  • Obtain information from Youth Justice to use in case work—including information for inclusion in the child and parental strengths and needs assessments.
  • Involve Youth Justice in the development and review of the case plan. Where the youth justice case worker is unable to directly participate in the meeting, ensure that feedback is obtained (for the planning or review process).
  • Consult with the youth justice case worker about whether, in addition to the young person’s parents, Child Safety is required to attend youth justice meetings, reviews, conferences and court proceedings.

If a case is referred to the SCAN team, the young person’s youth justice case worker may participate in the meeting as an invited stakeholder. (Refer to the Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect (SCAN) Team System Manual.)

Attention

Any involvement by Youth Justice in implementing or monitoring an immediate safety plan for a young person is to be negotiated by Child Safety with the youth justice case worker or their line manager.

Share information with Youth Justice

Where Youth Justice requests information to coordinate service for the young person or meet the child’s safety, belonging and wellbeing needs, provide the information in line with the information sharing provisions of the Child Protection Act 1999 , sections 186, 187 and 188.

When sharing information with the young person’s youth justice case worker:

  • Provide information that is necessary for Youth Justice to fulfil its obligations to the court and to provide services to the young person. For example, provide the details of a young person’s child protection history for use in youth justice court proceedings.
  • Advise the outcome of significant decisions, case planning meetings and reviews, including the decision to:
    • place a child using a child protection care agreement
    • reunify a child with a parent at the end of a child protection care agreement
    • apply for a child protection order
    • close an intervention with parental agreement case.
  • Provide information about any critical incident or alerts recorded by Child Safety in relation to the child or family. (Refer to the policy Critical incident reporting.)
  • Help the parents to share information about the child that may affect the child’s offending behaviour or ability to fulfil the requirements of their youth justice order or program. (For example, hospitalisation may prevent the child from fulfilling the conditions of an order.)

Note

Youth Justice maintains case management responsibility for the young person’s youth justice orders and actions associated with completing the order. Involve the youth justice case worker in the intervention with parental agreement case plan by inviting them to be part of the young person’s safety and support network.

This provides increased opportunities for information sharing and an integrated response to the young person—to better support them in meeting their youth justice requirements.

Share information with Youth Justice when a child needs a care arrangement

If, during the intervention with parental agreement, a young person in contact with the youth justice system is taken into the custody of the chief executive, contact the youth justice case worker and:

  • tell them who has custody and guardianship rights and responsibilities for the young person
  • ensure that the youth justice case worker is aware of the process for obtaining decisions or consents about custody or guardianship matters relating to the child.  (Refer to Procedure 5 Determine who may decide a custody or guardianship matter.)
  • explain that an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander young person has the right to have an independent person to facilitate their participation in significant decisions made by Child Safety. (Refer to Procedure 5 Decision making about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.)
  • coordinate service delivery for the period that the young person is in care
  • inform them of the child’s care arrangement details, including any change of address.

When placing a child:

  • Discuss the child’s youth justice obligations and reporting requirements with the child, parents and carers, including matters to be attended to by each party for the duration of the care arrangement.
  • If the child is placed using a child protection care agreement, record the agreed-upon responsibilities in the Care agreement form.

For information on Child Safety’s obligations to participate in youth justice processes when a young person is subject to a child protection order granting custody or guardianship to the chief executive, refer to Procedure 5 Participate in youth justice processes.

For guidance around service delivery for a young person subject to a child protection order granting custody or guardianship to the chief executive and who is in contact with the youth justice system, refer to Procedure 5 Coordinate service delivery for a young person in contact with the youth justice system.

Note

Where a youth justice case worker directly participates in the development or review of the case plan for a child and has responsibility for the implementation of certain components of the plan, provide them with a written copy of the plan.

A copy of the child’s case plan should also be given to a youth detention centre upon the child’s admission. 

Take action when a young person is held in watch house custody

If a young person is arrested, police may hold them in a watch house. If a young person is charged with a criminal offence, police may release the young person on bail from the watch house, otherwise the young person will be held in custody and taken to court as soon as possible.

When a young person subject to intervention with parental agreement is being held in watch house custody:

  • Advise the QPS to contact:
    • the young person’s parent, if they have not already done so
    • the young person's youth justice case worker
      or
    • the CSAHSC if it is after hours. The CSAHSC will record the information in ICMS for the relevant CSSCs and the youth justice service centre and will advise the on-call CSSC manager, if required.
  • Contact the youth justice case worker to negotiate a plan for face-to-face and telephone contact with the child for the duration of their detention in watch house custody, if appropriate in the circumstances.
  • Liaise with the young person’s parents.
  • Explore additional supports to increase the child’s opportunity for bail if the child’s current care arrangement at home affects their eligibility for bail. (Refer to Procedure 5 Assist the court to consider a referral to a Supervised Community Accommodation service.)

Practice prompt

If a young person’s criminal behaviour results in frequent arrests or harm to themselves or others, they may require a more intensive response from their safety and support network. For information about how to respond effectively to a young person engaging in recurrent, complex behaviours, refer to the practice guide Safety and support networks and high intensity responses.

Implement actions when a young person is subject to a detention order or is remanded in custody

When a young person enters a detention centre, contact the detention centre case worker and arrange an initial visit with the young person. Give the detention centre case worker relevant information about the young person, including:

  • the young person’s strengths and needs, including information in the child strengths and needs assessment
  • the case plan and cultural support plan
  • any diagnoses for the young person and their behaviour support plan, including details of current triggers, recommended responses and strategies to support the young person
  • information about who has guardianship of the young person and the implications for decision making and consent
  • issues likely to impact on the young person’s safety or wellbeing, or the safety of detention centre residents or staff.

Note

A Senior CSO—Youth Justice Liaison based at the youth detention centre will work collaboratively with CSSCs and Youth Justice to

  • facilitate information sharing
  • coordinate the delivery of services for young people who are entering, within or leaving youth detention centres.

While the young person remains in the detention centre, the CSO, in partnership with the young person’s parents, will:

  • maintain regular contact with the young person via face-to-face contact if geographically possible or video-link through the youth detention visits centre if it isn’t
  • maintain contact with the young person's parent and safety and support network
  • liaise with the detention centre case worker to monitor the young person's progress
  • attend or participate in case planning or review processes
  • attend youth justice court proceedings, if requested by the court
  • respond to issues as requested by detention centre staff or the youth justice case worker
  • participate in support planning for the young person’s transition from detention, including:
    • making sure the young person is aware of the plan for their release from detention
    • making sure appropriate community supports are in place for the young person once released
    • arranging transport from the court or detention centre, once released
    • finding suitable accommodation, if needed.

Attention

If a young person in detention is to have telephone contact with their CSO, the young person is required to initiate the call at an allocated time during the day. Provide the CSO’s direct telephone number to the detention centre case worker so the young person can call.

When the young person leaves the detention centre, the CSO, in partnership with the young person’s parents, will:

  • attend or participate in any final planning or review meeting with Youth Justice
  • obtain relevant information from the detention centre about the young person's education and medical requirements
  • make sure the young person's basic needs are met in a timely way
  • consider whether the young person's change in circumstances requires a review of their case plan.

Visit or telephone a child in a detention centre

To arrange telephone calls or visits with a young person in a detention centre, contact the detention centre case worker and negotiate an agreed plan and process.

Inform the detention centre case worker of any matters to be discussed with the young person during the visit or telephone call that may have a detrimental effect on the young person’s wellbeing or behaviour.

Further reading

For information about the role and responsibilities of parents and carers, refer to the practice guide Youth justice

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