The steps outlined in this procedure will guide case managers when applying for brokerage.

 

When to use this procedure

When accessing brokerage and other financial resources available for community based young people involved with youth justice.

 

What else you need to know

Make sure you have read and understood the following procedures:

 

Practice context and legislation

  • Brokerage can be used to fund service initiatives or programs that assist to divert young people from further offending. It can help to improve the quality of a young person's life and address offending behaviours.
  • Brokerage should be used only when there are no other options for accessing funding.
  • Brokerage is used for reasonable expenses that may help the young person to improve their health, safety, learning, wellbeing or development to gain personal confidence and stability.
  • Brokerage funds can be used for young people living at home or in out of home placements to improve or maintain the quality of their life.
  • Brokerage is not intended to take the place of other benefits. It is used when other financial assistance is unavailable.
 

Roles and key tasks

Case manager

  • Complete the application for brokerage and provide a detailed recommendation.

Team leader / team manager

  • Approve and signed the request if appropriate.
  • Provide information to the Assistant Director / Manager Individual and Family Support for young people who exhibit high-risk behaviour.

Assistant Director / Manager Individual and Family Support

  • Provide oversight, direction and monitoring of the area youth justice service.
  • Provide case consultation regarding young people exhibiting high-risk behaviours.

Youth Justice Senior Practice Advisor

  • Provide case consultation for high-risk young people. This should occur subject to local area agreements between Assistant Director / Manager Individual and Family Support and the Senior Practice Advisor.
 

The procedure in detail

Access to brokerage

All young people on a current order can access youth justice brokerage funds.

Brokerage should be used to help address offending behaviour, and it should be linked to client service planning goals.

Brokerage can sometimes be used for young people subject to a pre-sentence report or as part of exit planning beyond the youth justice order.

If young people are on a dual order, or have multiple program status, all attempts must be made to share expenditure across programs.

In general, brokerage will be an immediate or short-term expense and not used as an ongoing support for the young person's needs.

Applying for brokerage

Applications for brokerage are made on the designated regional template.

Record details of the brokerage expenditure in Client Relationship Information System (CRIS) case notes. Include a copy of the signed application in the young person's file.

Examples of brokerage expenditure

Brokerage can be used to fund:

  • accommodation
  • health and medical needs
  • travel
  • educational needs
  • vocational assistance
  • recreational programs
  • material aid
  • support and supervision of young person
  • diversion initiatives.

Brokerage can also be used for time-specific expansion of funded programs that meet the specific needs of the young person.

Decision making

Brokerage requests occur as part of client service planning or during case supervision with young people.

Requests for brokerage assistance must be discussed and endorsed by a team leader and approved by the team manager.

Team leaders make decisions about the appropriateness of funding, and whether the expenditure is reasonable for the activity and/or purchase requested.

In general, brokerage should only be considered when access to existing funding and/or services cannot be otherwise identified.

Delegation for approval of expenditure

Any Department of Human Services employee with responsibility to approve expenditure of departmental funds must attend financial delegation training.

This includes employees acting temporarily in higher duties roles.

The delegation for approval of expenditure amount varies slightly across regions.

The youth justice manager consults with the divisional finance manager to clarify the delegated amount that can be approved by team leaders for that area/division.

The team manager has the delegation to approve brokerage expenditure up to $20,000.

Requests above $20,000 are forwarded to the Individual and Family Support Manager for approval.

Monitoring and recording brokerage expenditure

In some areas/division, team managers allocate an amount of brokerage funds to team leaders at the beginning of each financial year for that team's expenses.

The team manager informs team leaders of the maximum limit they have delegation to approve.

An area/divisional system must be established to record expenditure and what brokerage funds are used for.

All brokerage requests and approvals must be recorded on an area/divisional recording system or spreadsheet.

Expenditure records must be kept up to date and periodically reviewed in supervision sessions held between the team manager and the team leader.

Brokerage expenditure is regularly reviewed in management team meetings to ensure consistency and appropriateness of expenditure.

Any large amounts forwarded to funded agencies are processed and administered by the team manager and the Individual and Family Services Manager through the contract management system.

Petty cash

Area/divisional resources such as petty cash are subject to departmental financial accountability guidelines.

Vouchers

Brokerage can be used to purchase vouchers and provide youth justice workers with access to the following resources:

  • Coles/Myers vouchers (marked not to be used for alcohol or cigarettes)
  • myki cards
  • taxi vouchers
  • pre-paid fuel vouchers.

Turning the Tide brokerage

Turning the Tide brokerage is used to target drug and/or alcohol use and related behavioural interventions. See 'Turning the Tide funding request' form in CRIS.

High risk adolescent brokerage

If a child protection young person is listed on the high-risk schedule, high-risk adolescent brokerage is available to tailor a direct service response to meet individual needs.

In some instances this will also apply for dual-order youth justice young people.

High-risk adolescent brokerage funds may be used to:

  • identify and purchase services that will meet the specific needs of high-risk adolescents
  • purchase individualised services not available through mainstream services
  • enable individuals or groups of young people to access mainstream community services to assist their integration and participate in structured activities.

Funding from high-risk adolescent brokerage must be applied for through the adolescent program manager via the young person's allocated child protection worker.

Federal funding – transition to independent living allowance

Transition to Independent Living Allowance (TILA) is a one off support to help young people who are leaving care to meet some of the costs involved to moving to independent living.

This is not a cash payment and items such as school uniforms or tools for a young person's first job up to a total of $1,000 must be purchased by the organisation supporting the young person's application.

A young person qualifies for a TILA living if they are:

  • an Australian resident
  • aged between 15–25
  • approaching or experiencing a transition to independent living
  • at risk of an unsuccessful transition
  • have not previously received a TILA
  • have been in or are currently in formal care
  • have been in or are currently in, informal care.

TAFE exemptions

Young people subject to a order supervised by youth justice in the community, are exempt from paying tuition fees for TAFE courses. When a young person is enrolling in a TAFE course, they should be provided with a letter indicating that they are undertaking the course "pursuant to a community based order made under the Children Youth and Families ACT 2005" to facilitate the exemption.

Refer to clauses 2.6 and 2.7 of the Victorian Training Guarantee, 2014 Guidelines about Fees issued by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development for further information.

Young people in custody

All identification paperwork and other required documents should be sourced and completed while the young person is in custody as part of the client service plan and exit planning process.