This service description provides information regarding the central after hours assessment and bail placement service (CAHABPS).

Document ID number 2721, version 3, 8 October 2020.


CAHABPS is a state-wide after hours service available to children and young people aged between 10 and 18 years. The service may be utilised voluntarily by any young person being considered for remand by police or where bail accommodation may be required.

CAHABPS is delivered by the Department of Health and Human Services and provides a single point of contact for police in matters where police or a bail justice are considering remand of a young person outside business hours. During business hours, police contact the area youth justice unit.

Remand of young offenders should be considered as a last resort on the basis that:

  • the offences the young person has been charged with have not yet been dealt with in court
  • it has a stigmatising effect on young people
  • contact with other offenders allows the formation of criminal associations and networks
  • it places vulnerable young people at risk
  • it reduces the opportunity for positive rehabilitation.

Child protection practitioners may have contact with CAHABPS when working with a young person who has been charged with an offence and police have contacted CAHABPS in relation to that young person. If contact has occurred overnight, CAHABPS will record the details for the practitioner's attention the next working day via CRIS.

CAHABPS roles and functions    

CAHABPS is the common after hours contact point for police regarding young offenders. Police are required to contact the service if they are considering a recommendation to a bail justice for remand of a young person after hours.

The primary role of the CAHABPS worker is to undertake an assessment and provide advice regarding the young person’s suitability for bail placement. This includes ensuring the young person is aware of the CAHABPS service, and their rights and responsibilities should placement in the community be assessed as suitable.

CAHABPS also provides:

  • support and information about the remand process and court proceedings
  • assistance with bail accommodation
  • referral to additional youth and family support services.

Within the metropolitan area, the CAHABPS worker may attend the police station and conduct an assessment of the young person’s suitability for bail placement, and if appropriate, place the young person in suitable accommodation.

For those young people charged with an offence in rural areas, the CAHABPS coordinator will act as a central point of contact for police when they are considering remand outside business hours.

Occasionally, CAHABPS is contacted in situations where police are prepared to bail a young person, however the young person does not have access to appropriate accommodation. In such cases, it is the role of the CAHABPS worker to facilitate bail through assisting police in accessing appropriate accommodation for the young person.

Who contacts CAHABPS?

Whenever police are considering remand of a young person in police custody after hours they must notify CAHABPS and allow the young person to be in contact with a CAHABPS worker prior to the remand hearing.

Young people, parents or guardians, carers or community sector staff can contact CAHABPS directly for support and advice regarding the police remand process.

Criminal matters

When a young person in police custody is to be processed for a criminal offence, the interviewing member in consultation with their sergeant will consider action in accordance with the following options:

  • no further mention
  • a caution under the police-cautioning program
  • the issue of an immediate summons
  • charge and instant bail (with or without conditions)
  • submission of a brief of evidence for approval
  • charge and remand in custody by court or bail justice.


Remand of young people in custody should only occur after due consideration of all other alternatives. The use of bail with the imposition of conditions is preferable to remand.

Where remand in custody is recommended to a bail justice by police and the child is not legally represented, the police informant will contact the CAHABPS (after hours), who may make arrangements for a worker to be present at the remand hearing to provide advice regarding the alternative options to the bail justice's. The CAHABPS worker should be allowed access to the child prior to the remand hearing.

Operating hours

CAHABPS is available:

  • Monday to Friday: 4.00 pm – 3.00 am (phones on)
  • weekends and public holidays: 9.30 am - 3.00 am (phones on)

Contacting CAHABPS

  • Office: 1300 1390767

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