This procedure relates to administration and supervision of the community work component of a young person’s court order.

 

When to use this procedure

When supervising the community work component of a young person’s youth justice order.

 

What else you need to know

 

Practice context and legislation

  • Section 407 of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 requires a person subject to a youth attendance order to engage in community work or other activities as directed by youth justice for a maximum of four hours in every week during the term of the order.
  • The court may only make the order with the young person’s consent and if youth justice has assessed that the young person is suitable to undertake the order.
  • Section 389 of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 makes provision for community work to be a condition of a youth supervision order. This should only be implemented for young people aged over 15 years
  • These orders must be administered in a structured manner, due to their position in the sentencing hierarchy and their stringent requirements.
  • The ‘Youth justice community work guidelines’ provide detailed guidelines for community work.
  • Community work or other activity refers to structured and supervised community work, tasks or activities that benefit a community organisation and/or individual. It also provides a means for reparation for offending.
  • The community work component of a court order provides the young person with consequences for illegal behaviour through deprivation of leisure time and allows them to make amends for the offences they have committed.
  • Intensive supervision and structured activities assist the young person to develop a sense of responsibility, learn new skills, contribute in a constructive way and develop relationships within their local community. Community work commitments provide a valuable opportunity for the young person to pursue new experiences that may increase their level of confidence and shape future life choices.
  • Community support (or sessional) workers, employed by youth justice, can supervise community work or other activities. Young people may also work within a community work organisation under supervision of a representative of that agency.
  • Young people who are required to engage in community work or other activities are covered under theAccident Compensation Act 1985.
  • All work undertaken must adhere to the Victorian Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004.
  • Practice varies between areas, due to different organisational structures. In areas where community support worker or community support work coordinator positions do not exist, these procedures apply to the case manager supervising community work, and the team leader with the community work portfolio.
 

Roles and key tasks

Community support worker

  • Transport young people to and from community work where required.
  • Supervise community work in accordance with the memorandum of understanding.
  • Report on community work progress and write case notes on the Client Relationship Information System (CRIS).
  • Where requested, attend care team meetings.

Youth justice case manager

  • Attend intake appointment with team leader and reiterate community work requirements.
  • Provide young person with 'Notice of required attendance at a youth justice unit'.
  • Monitor compliance and administer court order.
  • Review compliance with community work, and amend 'Notice of required attendance at a youth justice unit' accordingly.
  • Provide case management and supervision to young person.

Community support work coordinator

Identify, establish and oversee appropriate community work sites and partnerships.

  • Endorse 'Community work program site registration' form.
  • Sign the memorandum of understanding.
  • Provide consultation and supervision to community support workers.

Team leader / team manager

  • Provide consultation and supervision to case manager.
  • Issue warnings as required.

Assistant Director / Manager Individual and Family Support

  • Provide oversight, direction and monitoring of the area youth justice program.

Youth Justice Senior Practice Advisor

  • Provide case consultation and dispute resolution in cases of disagreement between community work sites and area youth justice. 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

Intake

Once an appropriate activity has been identified, an intake appointment should be arranged, where the case manager and their line manager will reiterate the conditions and requirements to the young person.

Explain all expectations of the order, particularly community work expectations, to the young person.

Tell the young person how many hours they must attend each week.

See procedure for 'Intake' for more information.

Organisation of community work and referrals

Refer to procedure for 'Organisation of community work'.

Client assessment phase

In the first six weeks of the order, the community support worker will assess the young person’s ability to complete community work.

The initial expectation is that the young person will undertake four hours of community work, including any transportation of the young person by the community support worker to and from the work site.

During this assessment phase, the young person’s ability to undertake a full session of community work is still being determined. Be flexibile, and count any hours completed.

In consultation with the case manager, set the weekly expectations at the client service plan meeting.

CSP meeting

Raise any concerns about the young person’s ability to complete the maximum four hours of community work.

Develop an amended 'Notice of required attendance at a youth justice unit', incorporating community work of a realistic duration.

Future compliance with community work will be measured against this contracted number of hours.

This should be reviewed at future client service plan review meetings, or if there are significant events affecting the young person’s capacity to complete community work.

Attendance

If the young person fails to complete a full session according to the hours specified in the 'Notice of required attendance at a youth justice unit', these hours must be made up.

If a young person is excused from community work, the hours still need to be made up.

If a young person fails to attend a community work session, these hours do not need to be made up, but this session must be recorded as a failure to attend with ‘No valid reason’, and will count towards non-attendances that may lead to a warning or breach.

Regular communication between case manager and community support worker about the young person’s engagement is paramount, to facilitate decision making by the case manager.

As with other attendances, a young person should only be excused with the approval of the team leader.

Refer to the procedure for 'Warning process for community based orders' for information on valid reasons for failing to attend appointments, and the implementation of the warning process.

Supervision of community work by a community work organisation

Youth justice maintains regular contact with community work sites to ensure young people are adequately supervised in a safe environment, and that the community work organisation is supported in their role.

This should be undertaken by the community support worker, in consultation with community support work coordinator.

 

Additional information