Youth support services

This service description provides information regarding youth support services for young people.
Document ID number 2744, version 2, 1 March 2016.

There are a range of youth support services specifically targeted to young people who are currently involved with child protection, preparing to leave care or who may be safely diverted from entering child protection. These services aim to assist young people whose circumstances include being at risk, in crisis, homeless, requiring support and supervision and diversionary services and supports such as mediation.

Adolescent support

Adolescent support is a case management service which aims to maintain young people aged 12 to 17 years in their family and community, where those young people are in immediate crisis, demonstrate challenging behaviours, have no effective caregiver, are at risk of physical, emotional or sexual harm or require immediate or ongoing support and supervision.

The eligibility for adolescent support services includes:

  • young people whose circumstances are likely to deteriorate and for whom the risk of harm will increase, without additional support
  • young people experiencing conflict within their families and where support is necessary to maintain the viability of continued care by their parents 
  • young people who require intensive support and supervision while subject to a protective or correctional order and whose needs are more appropriately responded to by a community service organisation (CSO) in conjunction with child protection
  • young people who are homeless, in crisis and require assistance in accessing and maintaining alternative accommodation and support
  • young people with challenging behaviours with a history of multiple failed placements who need intensive support to maintain the viability of their current placement.

These support services are divisional specific models developed to meet the needs of clients. Upon the continuum of intervention, these support services include those targeted to early intervention (for groups or individuals with presenting behaviours), diversion, intervention (statutory involvement) and post intervention or post care (exiting from intervention).

Finding Solutions

This is a mediation and diversionary service for adolescents and their families where the young person is at risk of being placed in the out-of-home care system because of family conflict. See service description Finding Solutions family and youth mediation service.

School focused youth service

Aimed at young people aged 10 to 18 (with a particular focus on 10 to 14 years), at risk of developing behaviours that may make them vulnerable to suicide, attempted suicide or who are displaying behaviour which requires support and intervention.

School Focused Youth Support (SFYS) is a statewide program and inclusive of the entire education sector that operates through 41 school and community 'clusters'. Each cluster has a coordinator that can respond to local needs as well as broader issues. SFYS covers all state, Catholic and independent schools and their communities and also provides support for young people not in the school system.

SFYS has a dual focus for achieving change:

  • Providing funding to develop and implement programs or services that fill gaps in a local service system for young people at risk.
  • Linking school-based support services and community agencies and identifying service gaps to enable corrective strategies to be developed.
Secondary school nurse program

This program is primarily for early to middle secondary school years although it does cater for all secondary school students. It is a primary prevention and early intervention nurse/health program.

Leaving care mentoring initiative

This initiative is aimed at 17 year old child protection clients in residential care or lead tenant placements about to leave care within the next six months who are unlikely to return home and will progress to independent living.

The program matches a mentor to a young person for a minimum of 12 months with a view to ongoing work. It provides young people with an opportunity to interact with adults in community settings, assist to provide a sense of community connectedness, and to prepare the young person to successfully transition from care to independence. It is targeted at the post intervention or post care phase of child protection involvement.

Leaving care housing and support initiative

This initiative is for young people at risk of homelessness (especially young people leaving care).

The Leaving Care Housing and Support Initiative provides housing and support transitioning from care to independence (one project specifically targets Aboriginal young people leaving care). The initiative aims to achieve better outcomes for young people leaving care by assisting in developing life skills, providing links to education, employment and training options and preventing homelessness by creating pathways to sustainable long term housing options. This program is specifically aimed at the post intervention or post care phase.

RAMP – high risk youth mentoring program

This program is for young people with challenging behaviour who are child protection clients in the East Division living in residential care.

The program matches young people in residential care aged 13 to 16 years with adult mentors.

Other services

Other services which adolescents may be referred to depending on assessment of their needs:

  • Child FIRST and Family Services
  • Take Two – Intensive Therapeutic Services
  • Aboriginal Child Specialist Advice and Support Service (ACSASS)
  • Family Violence Services
  • Sexual Assault Services
  • Sexual Assault Treatment Services
  • Sexually Abusive Behaviour Treatment Services
  • Victims of Crime
  • Indigenous Family Violence Strategy – Healing and Time Out Service
  • Aboriginal Family-led Decision Making
  • Aboriginal Family Restoration Service.

Referral of individuals and families to other professionals and agencies in the service network for assistance is a core skill for child protection practitioners. See Making effective referrals.

Information sharing

Before sharing information with services outside child protection, practitioners should be familiar with Information sharing in child protection practice..