Use this procedure when supervising young people sentenced by the children's court to a youth residential centre order.


When to use this procedure

When supervising a child who has been, or is likely to be, sentenced to a youth residential centre order.


Practice context and legislation

  • Section 410 of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 permits a children’s court to make a youth residential centre order for a child aged between 10 and 14 years who is found guilty of an offence.
  • A youth residential centre order cannot be longer than one year for a single offence or an aggregate of two years for multiple offences. Any term of a youth residential centre order must be served concurrently unless the court directs otherwise.
  • When imposing a youth residential centre order, the court may make written recommendations for the management, treatment or any other matters concerning the child to be detained. Any recommendations made by the court must be addressed in the assessment and client service plan. Refer to the ‘Client assessment and planning practice instructions’ for more information.
  • The court must have received and considered a pre-sentence report and be satisfied that the circumstances and nature of the offence are sufficiently serious to warrant the making of a youth residential centre order and that no other sentence is appropriate.
  • In Victoria, both male and female children sentenced to a youth residential centre order are detained at the Parkville Youth Justice Precinct.
  • Collaboration and regular communication between area and youth residential centre workers is essential.
  • If a young person between the ages of 15 and 20 is sentenced to a period of detention, this is known as a youth justice centre order. For more information please refer to the ‘Youth justice centre order practice instruction’.

Roles and key tasks

Youth justice court advice service worker

  • Ensure a pre-sentence report has been considered by the court.
  • Explain details relating to the youth residential centre order to the child.

Case manager

  • Provide case management and planning for release.
  • Liaise with youth residential centre key worker.
  • Maintain contact with the child in custody.

Team leader / team manager

  • Be available to case manager for consultation.
  • Endorse assessments, parole progress reports and plans, as well as court reports when/if required.

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, particularly for 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

Recommending a youth residential order

When recommending a youth residential centre order consider:

  • the nature of the offence/s
  • the young person’s youth justice history and compliance with previous orders
  • the safety of the community.

Case managers must seek endorsement for the recommendation from their team leader, team manager or area manager, depending on the organisational structure in the area.

Youth justice precinct details

For specific procedures relating to the youth residential centre order, see the Youth justice custodial practice manual.

Case management responsibility

Primary case management responsibility for a young person sentenced to a youth residential centre order transfers from the community to custodial services staff on admission to custody.

The community based youth justice worker is recorded on the Client Relationship Information System (CRIS) as the additional worker while the client is in custody.

Youth justice precinct staff must update or undertake a new client assessment and client service plan. This plan builds on the assessment completed by the area, and informs planning for the young persons while in custody.

When a young person leaves the youth justice precinct and case responsibility is transferred to the area youth justice team, custodial staff must communicate with the area youth justice worker to ensure the smooth transfer of case responsibility to the region.

Communication between community and custodial youth justice workers

The area youth justice worker must maintain regular contact with youth justice precinct workers to keep informed of a child’s progress.

Communication must occur for the following events:

  • undertaking client assessment and planning and the Victorian Offender Needs Inventory for Youth (VONIY)
  • planning the client service planning meeting
  • considering referrals to community services
  • significant events (for example, incidents relating to family and health)
  • seeking employment or education options for the young person
  • if a young person returns to court
  • temporary leave planning
  • considering transfer of a young person between precincts
  • developing the parole or exit plan.

When a serious incident occurs in a precinct the unit manager should notify the area youth justice worker. Please refer to the youth justice custodial practice manual for more information.

All significant client service planning decisions must include consultation between the custodial services worker and the allocated regional worker.

Record all service planning details accurately on the client file in CRIS.

If communication is unsatisfactory

If communication between community based and custodial workers is not satisfactory, workers must:

  • attempt to resolve the matter between themselves
  • increase communication by discussing expectations about when contact is made as per the list of events above
  • refer matters to line management if communication does not improve.

Area case manager contact with young people in custody

All young people sentenced to a youth residential centre order must be allocated an area youth justice worker regardless of the length of the sentence or whether they will be released on parole or remissions.

All children in youth residential centres will receive visits by area youth justice workers.

Within two weeks of a young person being sentenced and admitted to a youth justice precinct, the area youth justice worker arranges to visit the precinct to meet with the child.

To establish routine contact arrangements, make an appointment with the child’s allocated youth residential centre worker during the admission assessment period.

Discuss and negotiate with the young child a regular visiting schedule. Visits may become more frequent as a child approaches parole eligibility. For more information refer to the procedures for ‘Parole order’ and ‘Parole planning’.

All visits and phone contact with young people occur during work hours. Where possible, avoid arranging appointment times that conflict with the young person’s program commitments and activities.

Exercise professional discretion when determining the frequency of visits to the young person.

Worker availability, length of sentence and the young person’s level of support and ability to cope in a youth justice precinct setting will influence the frequency of visits.

In some areas, arrangements may be made for members of parole teams to have contact with other team member’s clients during centre visits.

Refer to Youth justice custodial practice manual for more information.

Exit planning – remissions

Young people released on remissions have no reporting obligations to the youth justice unit.

However communication between youth justice precinct workers and area youth justice workers before a child’s release is important to establish community links and supports.

Youth justice precinct workers should contact the appropriate area to obtain information on post-release services, support and accommodation options.

The area youth justice worker must participate in the exit planning process and the young person is offered the opportunity to voluntarily access the support of the area youth justice worker.

Exit planning – parole

Please refer to the procedures in the 'Parole orders' chapter.