This procedure relates to supervising young people on a probation order.
When to use this procedure
When supervising a young person subject to a probation order.
What else you need to know
Practice context and legislation
- Probation is a community-based sentence given by a children’s court that requires a young person to be supervised by youth justice for the duration of the order.
- Probation is the least intensive supervised order. It is an option for young people who have repeatedly offended, and who have previously received non-supervised sentences before such as, an undertaking, a fine, a good behaviour bond or a group conference. It may also be used for young people who have offended for the first time and the offence is of a serious nature.
- The court may order the young person to observe special conditions for the whole or specified period of the order and must provide a reason for the inclusion of any special conditions.
Roles and key tasks
- Youth justice court advice service worker
- Youth justice case manager
- Team leader / team manager
- Assistant Director / Manager Individual Family Support
- Youth Justice Senior Practice Adviser
Youth justice court advice service worker
- Explain details of the probation order to the young person and schedule the first supervision appointment within two working days of the court appearance.
- Gather information to facilitate contact with the young person and establish an appropriate allocation of the case. See procedure relating to 'Collecting client information at court'.
Youth justice case manager
- Provide case management and supervision.
- Implement and monitor special conditions.
- Initiate warning and breach process as necessary.
- Provide court advice.
Team leader / team manager
Provide consultation and supervision to case manager. Endorse assessments, client service plans, court reports and recommendations. Issue warnings and authorise breach action as necessary.
Assistant Director / Manager Individual Family Support
- Provide oversight, direction and monitoring of the area youth justice service.
Youth Justice Senior Practice Adviser
- Provide case consultation in relation to court recommendations, breaches and particularly for high-risk young people.
- This should occur subject to local area agreements between Assistant Director / Manager Individual Family Support and the Senior Practice Advisor.
The procedure in detail
- Explain requirements
- Conditions of probation orders
- Special conditions
- Hours of attendance
- Appointment dates and times
- Phasing down reporting requirements
- Warning process
- Breach procedures
- Application to vary or revoke a probation order
- Interstate and overseas travel
Explain the probation order to the young person at court and again at the first supervision appointment scheduled within two working days of the court appearance.
Please refer to ‘Intake practice instruction’.
Please refer to ‘Case management and planning procedures’.
Conditions of probation orders
A young person on probation must:
- report to the youth justice unit within two working days after the order is made
- during the period of the probation order, report to the assigned youth justice worker
- not re-offend during the period of probation
- not leave the state without written permission
- notify the assigned youth justice worker of any change of residence, school or employment within 48 hours after the change
- carry out the reasonable and lawful instructions of the assigned youth justice worker.
A special condition may be ordered during probation for the young person to:
- attend school, if of school age
- abstain from alcohol and illegal drug use
- live at a specified address
- adhere to a curfew
- undergo medical, psychiatric, psychological or drug counselling or treatment
- comply with the support plan from disability services as per Disability Act 2006
- any other conditions the court considers necessary.
Explain to the young person any special conditions that have been imposed by the court.
Tell the young person that their compliance with special conditions will be closely monitored and recorded.
Explain to the young person what the consequences are for non-compliance with special conditions.
Implement special conditions, as soon as possible, as part of the client service planning process.
Record all details including compliance in the young person’s file in CRIS.
Hours of attendance
A probation order is the least intrusive of the court orders to be supervised by youth justice.
The young person must initially be seen on a weekly basis.
Regularly review the young person’s progress in supervision for the duration of the order and vary reporting requirements accordingly, after consultation with team leader.
Maintain accurate records of appointment dates, times, location and details of reporting requirements in Client Relationship Information System (CRIS).
Appointment dates and times
Arrange dates and times for the young person to attend youth justice appointments that do not interfere with attendance at employment, education, training or religious commitments.
Tell the young person they must notify their youth justice worker if they cannot keep an appointment before the date they are required to attend.
Accurately record appointment dates, times and locations in CRIS.
Phasing down reporting requirements
Where the young person is making satisfactory progress the frequency of reporting can be decreased. This can coincide with the client service plan review
The decision to phase down reporting must be made in consultation with the team leader.
Record the reasoning for the phase down in a case note and the client service plan review.
Verify and document any reasons for non-attendance in CRIS.
Valid reasons to be excused from supervision include:
- substantiated illness
- family holidays
- family illness or bereavement
- preparation and sitting for educational examinations
- detention after school
- employment requirements
- observance of religious festivals
- public holidays.
Medical certificates are required to substantiate illness and are to be attached to the young person’s file.
Absences from supervision without a valid reason must be recorded as a non-attendance on CRIS.
A level of reasonable flexibility is afforded to young people, keeping in mind the unique circumstances that affect their ability to comply.
If unauthorised absences continue, follow procedure for ‘Warning process for community based orders’.
Seek endorsement from the Assistant Director / Manager Individual and Family Support to return a probation order to court where the young person:
- has not complied with the general or any special conditions imposed on the probation order
- has been found guilty of an offence during the period that the probation order is in force.
At the discretion of the Assistant Director / Manager Individual and Family Support, a manager’s warning can be issued in lieu of a breach of the probation order (for example, minor offending). For high-risk young people, consultation with the youth justice senior practice adviser should occur. For more information please refer to procedures for ‘Warning process for community based orders’ and ‘Breaches’.
Application to vary or revoke a probation order
If a young person frequently misses appointments due to substantiated illness, it may be appropriate to return to court for a variation or revocation of the order.
It will be up to the young person to demonstrate to the magistrate that they are medically unfit to complete the order.
For more information please refer to procedure for ‘Variation or revocation of a court order’.
Please refer to the procedures for ‘Transfers’.
Interstate and overseas travel
Tell the young person that they cannot leave the state without permission from youth justice.
The case manager can provide written permission, which is endorsed and signed off by the Assistant Director / Manager Individual and Family Support and, for young people exhibiting high-risk behaviour, the Youth Justice Senior Practice Adviser.
Where permission is granted, the young person should be provided with a letter indicating this.
- Descriptors for Victorian Offending Needs Indicator for Youth (VONIY) (intranet only)
- Probation Order fact sheet (634.2 KB, PDF)
- Clients rights and responsibilities contract (intranet only) (49.5 KB, ms word)
- YJ intake information guide (intranet only) (25.5 KB, ms word)
- Guide to Victorian Youth Justice Client Assessment & Planning (CAP) (intranet only) (494.0 KB, PDF)