Where we are up to
The Youth Through Care program (YTC) is no longer a pilot project, VACCA has received 3 years of addtional funding through the National Indigenous Australians Agency to continue the program.
The YTC program adapted service delivery to meet work conditions under COVID-19 restrictions, as no external providers are able to access the Youth Justice custodial precincts. YTC workers engage young people in custody through phone and video calls and have completed face to face visits to custody where it has been considered essential. YTC also continues to work in collaboration with the Aboriginal Liaison Officers in custody to support current YTC clients in custody and identify potential referrals to the program. YTC are also engaging more young people from Malmsbury and the allocated workers have contact with these clients on a weekly basis at a minimum.
The focus of the program is on cultural strengthening and cultural mentoring and to connect young people to community and extended family as part of their cultural strengthening. As these young people get closer to release dates the work will focus on preparing them for release. Young people and their families continue to have ongoing follow up and support post release with outreach where it has been considered essential, for example:
- supporting young people to attend Centrelink and Housing appointments
- transport to and from detox and rehab centres
- visits to residential care or home with young people to provide social and emotional wellbeing support.
YTC workers also provide outreach to families where the young person in custody has not had any recent contact or if the worker has concerns for the welfare of the young person's parent or carer.