This procedure relates to supervising young people on a youth attendance order.
When to use this procedure
When supervising a young person subject to a youth attendance order.
What else you need to know
Practice context and legislation
- A youth attendance order gives the court a direct alternative to a custodial sentence.
- It is imposed for serious offences committed by young people who have a pattern of significant and/or persistent offending, or where the young person is before the court for the first time for a serious offence.
- A youth attendance order follows a mandatory conviction. It provides a consequence for offending behaviour by depriving the young person of leisure time and providing structured activities and intensive supervision, without removing the young person from their home, school or work commitments.
- Community service or other activities as directed by youth justice is a mandatory component of a youth attendance order.
- A court will only order a pre-sentence report on suitability for a youth attendance order when it is considering imposing a sentence of detention.
- A young person must consent to being placed on a youth attendance order
- Young people considered for a youth attendance order are likely to have had previous involvement with youth justice. The young person’s capacity to meet the expectations of the order should be taken into account. If a young person is unlikely to meet these requirements, consider recommending a less intrusive disposition.
- Section 402(2) stipulates the requirement to specify the reporting requirements to the young person in a notice.
Roles and key tasks
- Youth justice court advice service worker
- Case manager
- Team leader / team manager
- Assistant Director / Manager Individual and Family Support
- Youth Justice Senior Practice Advisor
Youth justice court advice service worker
- Explain the youth attendance 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’.
- Provide case management and supervision.
- Implement special conditions.
- Initiate warning and breach process where appropriate.
- Provide court advice.
- Liaise with community support workers regarding appropriate community work tasks.
- Reiterate youth attendance order requirements to young person.
Team leader / team manager
Be available to case manager for consultation.
Endorse assessments, client service plans and court reports.
Issue warnings and authorise breach action where appropriate.
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 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 and Family Support and the Senior Practice Advisor.
The procedure in detail
- Explain requirements
- Conditions of youth attendance orders
- Special conditions
- Hours of attendance
- Preparing a ‘Notice of required attendance at a youth justice unit’
- Appointment dates and times
- Phasing down reporting requirements
- Warning process
- Breach procedures
- Application to vary or revoke a youth attendance order
- Interstate and overseas travel
- Community work
Explain the youth attendance 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 the procedure for 'Intake'.
Please refer to procedures for ‘Case management and planning’.
Conditions of youth attendance orders
A young person on a youth attendance order must:
- not commit another offence during the period of the youth attendance order
- attend a youth justice unit for the number for weeks specified by the court
- report to the youth justice unit within two working days after the order is made
- not leave the state without written permission
- notify youth justice of any change of residence, school or employment within 48 hours of the change
- comply with the requirements for attendance
- attend at any alternative day and time or attend for extension of the term of the order
- carry out the reasonable and lawful instructions of the assigned youth justice worker or assigned authority
- observe any special conditions for the whole or any part of the order.
Explain to the young person any special conditions that have been imposed by the court.
Tell the young person their compliance with special conditions will be closely monitored and recorded.
Explain the consequences of 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
The reporting requirements for a youth attendance order are as follows:
- a maximum of three attendances per week
- a maximum of 10 hours per week
- a maximum of six hours of program activities per week (or two three-hour sessions)
- a maximum of four hours spent on community service activities each week.
Hours of attendance can be altered to meet program activities but not extended beyond 10 hours per week.
Preparing a ‘Notice of required attendance at a youth justice unit’
The Act specifies that the young person must be provided with a notice that specifies the number of hours they must attend in relation to their youth attendance order each week. In CRIS, the proforma for this notice is the ‘Notice of required attendance at a youth justice unit’.
It is important to complete this document as, in the Act, breach action for failure to attend appointments is initiated based on a failure to comply with the hours stipulated in the Notice.
Appointment dates and times
Arrange dates and times for the young person to attend youth justice appointments or community work that do not interfere with employment, education, training or religious commitments.
Tell the young person they must notify youth justice if they are unable to keep an appointment before the date they are required to attend.
Accurately record appointment dates, times and locations in CRIS.
Phasing down reporting requirements
Consult with team leader to determine the details of phasing down reporting requirements.
Phase down reporting requirements when the young person has performed exceptionally well, the order is very long or the young person’s circumstances have significantly altered.
Record the reasoning for the phase down of reporting in a case note and the client service plan review. An updated ‘Notice of required attendance at a youth justice unit’ must also be issued to reflect the required hours of attendance.
Tell the young person that community service activities are mandatory and must continue for the duration of the order.
Refer to the chapter relating to ‘Community work’.
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.
Tell the young person that all absences – with and without valid reasons – still need to be made up.
Absences from supervision without a valid reason must be recorded as a non-attendance on CRIS.
If unauthorised absences continue, follow procedure for ‘Warning process for community based orders’.
Lost time and extending a youth attendance order
Consult with team leader regarding unauthorised absences.
Organise for the young person to make up time for any absences whether acceptable or unauthorised (not exceeding ten hours over three sessions per week).
If lost time cannot be made up during the operational period of the order, the youth justice manager may endorse the order being extended.
Inform the young person that they are required to make up lost time and that the term of the youth attendance order will be extended to match lost time.
Complete the ‘Notice of extension of service of youth attendance order document’ to notify the young person of any extension made to the order. The notice can be found in CRIS.
Revise the notice of required attendance at a youth justice unit. Note extension times in CRIS.
Seek endorsement from the Assistant Director / Manager Individual and Family Support to return a youth attendance order to court if the young person:
- has not complied with the conditions of the youth attendance order
- has been found guilty of an offence during the period that the youth attendance 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 youth attendance order (for example, minor offending). For high-risk young people, consult 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 youth attendance 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
The young person may not 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.
If permission is granted, give the young person a letter indicating this.
- Descriptors for Victorian Offending Needs Indicator for Youth (VONIY) (intranet only)
- Youth attendance order fact sheet (638.1 KB, PDF)
- Clients rights and responsibilities contract (intranet only) (49.5 KB, MS WORD)
- Youth Justice Community Work Program guidelines (intranet only)
- Guide to Victorian Youth Justice Client Assessment & Planning (CAP) (intranet only) (494.0 KB, PDF)