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Working with families

The family can be central to the task of trying to put your child on the right track. Young people are placed in custody only as a last resort. It is important that your child takes responsibility for their actions and that some restitution is made to the community.

Where family relationships have broken down, fixing or improving things can be a big help in changing your child's behaviour. This is generally best achieved in an environment as natural as possible.

If your child is arrested tensions may arise within your family. This may be worsened if your child is placed in custody.

The family will receive various forms of assistance when a child is placed under the supervision of Youth Justice.

  • You can be with your child when they are interviewed by the police.

  • You will be interviewed by a Youth Justice officer when the court asks for a background report on your child. Anything that you feel is relevant can be included.

  • The family may be referred to counselling (either with or without the child) or to community agencies that provide further professional support and advice.

  • A Youth Justice officer will remain in contact with you to ensure you have the opportunity to express any concerns.

  • You will be consulted in any supervision of your child that may be undertaken by Youth Justice.

  • You will be invited to participate in the individual case plan drawn up for your child.

If your child is refused bail or placed on a control order in a Youth Justice centre

Great importance is placed on family members keeping in contact with detainees. The needs of family members, particularly work commitments, are taken into account. Special consideration may be given to allow visits outside normal hours.

In certain circumstances, families (or significant other people) who live some distance from the Youth Justice centre where the young person is placed, may be eligible for financial assistance to allow visits.

If you are experiencing difficulties visiting your child, contact the local Youth Justice office and ask to speak to the officer who is working with your child or phone the centre and ask for your child's key worker.

You will be asked to be involved in case conferences (either in person or by phone) to identify issues to be addressed in custody and to plan your child's release.