This procedure relates to cultural support planning for Aboriginal young people on court orders.

 

When to use this procedure

When planning for young people who identify as Aboriginal, it is best to seek cultural input from the Koori youth justice program. This is the best way to connect the young person with their family and community, as well as to divert them from further progression into the criminal justice system.

 

What else you need to know

Make sure you have read and understood the following procedures:

 

Practice context and legislation

  • If a young person identifies or believes that he or she belongs to the Aboriginal culture, a youth justice worker must work with the young person in a culturally appropriate manner.
  • The youth justice program provides culturally appropriate service delivery to young Aboriginal people who have offended and/or are at risk of further offending.
  • Service delivery is based on culturally appropriate service responses that meet the needs of young Aboriginal people and includes holistic approaches, sound assessment, and engagement of Aboriginal community supports, and facilitating connections between young people and their families and Aboriginal communities.
  • The services provided are intended to support young Aboriginal people to adopt positive lifestyles within the context of their family, Aboriginal communities and the wider community.
  • The allocated youth justice case manager and the community-based Koori youth justice program worker must consult regularly and work together collaboratively to ensure that the best interests of the Aboriginal young person are met and managed appropriately.
  • If the young Aboriginal person consents, an Aboriginal cultural support plan should be prepared by the community based Koori youth justice program worker.
  • The Aboriginal cultural support plan ensures that young Aboriginal people involved with youth justice have access to supports that improve their physical, spiritual, cultural, emotional and social wellbeing. These supports are available through the Koori youth justice program.
  • When planning for young people who identify as Aboriginal, ensure they seek cultural input from the Koori youth justice program and relevant Aboriginal networks to provide support.
  • The Aboriginal cultural support plan helps to connect the young person with their family and community. It is an important component of the client assessment planning process for Aboriginal young people on court orders supervised by youth.
  • The Aboriginal cultural support plan has seven sections:
    • young person's details
    • the Aboriginal community group the young person identifies with
    • the young person's Aboriginal tribal/family group
    • available contacts to support cultural linkages
    • a contact plan for Aboriginal services
    • a plan to maintain ongoing cultural links with the young person’s Aboriginal community
    • significant family information.
 

Roles and key tasks

Community-based Koori youth justice program worker

  • Prepare and implement Aboriginal cultural support plan.
  • Provide consultation to case manager and care team.
  • Provide advice and advocacy for young people at court.
  • Attend client service plan meetings and implement actions as part of client service plan and cultural support plan.
  • Develop and refer young people to culturally appropriate programs and strategies.
  • Attend regular care team meetings.

Koori intensive support practitioner

  • Provide statutory supervision and case management services to young Koori people, pre- and post-release from custody, or while subject to bail supervision.
  • Undertake assessments, develop, implement and review case plans and strategies designed to address offending behaviour.
  • Convene care team meetings to be attended by the community-based Koori youth justice program worker, other involved Koori-specific professionals, and appropriate members of the young person’s community.
  • Respond to non-compliance.
  • Prepare and present reports and to the Youth Parole Board and the courts. Advocate on behalf of Koori young people and, where appropriate, their families.
  • Facilitate access to specialist, generic and Koori-specific community services.
  • Refer young Aboriginal young people to community-based Koori youth justice program worker.
  • Liaise with community-based Koori youth justice program worker and contribute to development of the cultural support plan.

Youth justice case manager

  • Provide case management and supervision.
  • Liaise with community-based Koori youth justice program worker to develop the cultural support plan. If young person is in a youth justice precinct, liaise with Aboriginal custodial youth justice worker.
  • Convene care team meetings to be attended by community-based Koori youth justice program worker, other involved Koori specific professionals, and appropriate members of the young person’s community.

Team leader / team manager

  • Provide consultation and supervision to case manager.
  • Issue warnings and authorise breach action as necessary.

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 regarding court recommendations, breaches and young people exhibiting high-risk behaviours. This should occur subject to local area agreements between Assistant Director / Manager Individual Family Support and the Senior Practice Advisor.
 

The procedure in detail

Identification of young people who are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander

All young people entering the youth justice system must be asked directly if they identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

This field must be completed in CRIS.

Koori youth justice program

Young people identifying as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander must be provided with:

  • information about the Koori youth justice program
  • the option of referral to an community-based Koori youth justice program worker.

The community-based Koori youth justice program worker will develop and complete the Aboriginal cultural support plan in consultation with the young person, the youth justice community or custodial worker, and the young person’s family and relevant community organisations where appropriate.

Refer to the Koori youth justice program procedure for further information.

Aboriginal cultural support plan

All young people identifying as Aboriginal or from the Torres Strait Islands must be given the option of having an Aboriginal cultural support plan developed during the assessment process.

Consult with the young person and gain their consent to proceed with the development of the Aboriginal cultural support plan.

Advise the young person of the client assessment and planning process and the steps involved in the preparation of an Aboriginal cultural support plan.

When the young person chooses not to participate

If a young person chooses not to be involved with the Koori youth justice program, or refuses to participate in the preparation of an Aboriginal cultural support plan, this should be recorded as a case note in Client Relationship Information System (CRIS), with the subject line clearly identifying this.

Consult with the community based Koori youth justice program worker for advice on how to best support and manage the young person in the absence of an Aboriginal cultural support plan.

Young people involved with the child protection service

If a young person supervised by youth justice is also involved with child protection, consult with the relevant child protection worker to determine whether an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander cultural support plan has already been developed.

If child protection has already developed an Aboriginal cultural support plan, there is no need to duplicate the process as all relevant cultural information can be gained through consultation with the child protection worker.

Consent to proceed with an Aboriginal cultural support plan

Ensure that the community-based Koori youth justice program worker has consulted with the young person and gained their consent to prepare an Aboriginal cultural support plan.

The community-based Koori youth justice program worker will follow the direction of the young person as to which family members and community organisations they wish to include in the process.

Co-working with Koori youth justice program worker

The youth justice worker is required to do the following.

  • Consult with the community-based Koori youth justice program worker throughout the client assessment and planning process to ensure that culturally relevant information is included in the client assessment, client service plan and Victorian Offending Needs Indicator for Youth (VONIY).
  • Ensure that the client service plan reflects identified goals and issues from the community-based Koori youth justice program worker's assessment of the young person.
  • Include the community-based Koori youth justice program worker in case planning and case management meetings as required. Link goals of the client service plan to the Aboriginal cultural support plan.
  • Consult with the community-based Koori youth justice program worker to ensure that an Aboriginal cultural support plan, where required, is implemented during the client assessment and planning phase.
  • Consult with the community-based Koori youth justice program worker about the review of Aboriginal cultural support planning.
  • Advise the community-based Koori youth justice program worker of relevant court hearings and, if relevant, Youth Parole Board hearings.

Completion of Aboriginal cultural support plans

The Aboriginal cultural support plan is to be completed within the same timeframe as the client assessment plan.

The completed Aboriginal cultural support plan is to be attached to the client assessment plan on CRIS.

Provide the young person with a copy of their Aboriginal cultural support plan.

Alternative ways to complete the plan

If the youth justice worker identifies as being Aboriginal and is supervising an Aboriginal young person, it is his or her role to produce the Aboriginal cultural support plan and consult with the community-based Koori youth justice program worker.

If a community-based Koori youth justice program worker is not available during the six weeks of the client assessment planning process, it is the role of the youth justice case manager to complete the Aboriginal cultural support plan with the young person in consultation with relevant Aboriginal networks.

Parole planning processes

For young people in custody, it is necessary for the community-based Koori youth justice program worker and Aboriginal youth justice centre worker to collaborate in developing or updating the Aboriginal cultural support plan as part of the client assessment/exit planning process.

A copy of the Aboriginal cultural support plan should be attached to the young person's parole plan on CRIS.

Learning and development

Aboriginal cultural awareness training is available to all youth justice workers.

Contact the Centre for Learning and Organisational Development for further information.

Area / divisional transfers

If an Aboriginal cultural support plan has been completed previously in another area, upon transfer the new allocated worker is required to consult with the community-based Koori youth justice program worker to determine if the Aboriginal cultural support plan should be reviewed to include local information and services. Refer to procedure for ‘Divisional/area case transfers’ for more information.

 

Additional information