Where we are up to
The Aboriginal Youth Justice Program is delivered through 14 funded agencies with a total of 23 equivalent full-time (EFT) staff. Thirteen of these agencies are Aboriginal Controlled Community Organisations (ACCOs) and one is a community-based agency (Anglicare).
The suite of programs provides preventative, early intervention and case managements services for Aboriginal children and young people at risk of Youth Justice involvement, or subject to a Youth Justice Order. The program suite includes the Aboriginal Community Based Youth Justice Program, Aboriginal Early School Leavers Program, Aboriginal Intensive Support Program, Aboriginal Liaison Officers and a Koori Court Advice Worker.
A new manager of Aboriginal programs has been appointed to lead the development and implementation of Aboriginal youth justice commitments outlined in Burra Lotjpa Dunguludja (AJA4) and shape new responses in line with the principles of self-determination and in partnership with the Aboriginal community, developed in response to the Koori Youth Justice Taskforce and the Aboriginal Youth Justice strategy.
COVID-19 response in the community
The Department of Justice and Community Safety is working with Aboriginal communities to support safe working practices while working to address the over-representation of Aboriginal young people in the justice system.The department has provided a one-off additional brokerage funding for all ACCOs delivering Youth Justice programs to strengthen supports during the emergency. This has allowed ACCOs to develop innovative ways of providing support to Aboriginal young people in the community, such as delivering care packages, arranging driveway yarns, supporting virtual youth groups and providing peer to peer support.
COVID-19 factsheets for the Aboriginal Youth Support Service, Aboriginal Early School Leaver Program and Community Based Aboriginal Youth Justice Program have been distributed to funded ACCOs. These provide COVID-19-related advice about working with Aboriginal children and young people with considerations for service provision and prioritisation of program support.
Youth Justice is also partnering with the Koorie Youth Council on a series of communication materials to ensure Aboriginal young people receive accessible information within an Aboriginal youth cultural context.