Where we are up to
The Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA) led Youth Through Care program (YTC) adapted service delivery to meet Covid-19 restrictions. YTC workers engage young people in custody through phone and video calls and face to face visits when considered essential. YTC are engaging more young people from Malmsbury with workers contacting these clients on a weekly basis at a minimum.
The focus is on 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 the work will focus on preparing them for this. Young people and their families continue to have ongoing follow up and support post release with outreach where it has been considered essential (e.g. supporting young people to attend Centrelink and housing appointments, transport to and from detox and rehab centres and 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. YTC provide items to young people post release to support them with their goals. Where outreach visits are not essential, follow up with clients and families is mostly completed through regular phone calls. Young people involved in the program seem to prefer regular phone calls to video calling post release.