Use this procedure when collecting information about young people at court, including those young people who attend court in an area other than where they currently, or will, reside.

 

When to use this procedure

When gathering information about a young person appearing before the court.

 

Practice context and legislation

  • When a young person appears in court, youth justice collects relevant personal information about them and ensures the information is recorded in the Client Relationship Information System (CRIS).
  • Often a young person’s first appearance at court is their first contact with youth justice, and their first court order is the beginning of their statutory obligations overseen by youth justice. Collecting information at court is an opportunity to demonstrate the knowledge and support a young person can expect when more detailed information is collected at various stages of their order.
  • In some courts there are specific youth justice court advice workers available to provide support, assistance and referral. The Youth justice court advice guidelines help workers determine what information is useful for a young person’s first involvement with youth justice, when they receive a new order or new pre-sentence report request. This background information is especially important in situations where the young person will be supervised by another area.
  • It is best to gather basic information and arrange the intake while the young person is still at the court. However, if the young person leaves the court precinct immediately or they are too distresed, you should pass their essential contact details on to the appropriate team leader or case manager.
  • Appropriate and accurate collection of information is crucial to a young person’s involvement with youth justice. Be aware, however, of the repetitive nature of information collection and that a young person may be reluctant to explain their personal details. Use sensitivity and only collect necessary information.
 

Roles and key tasks

Youth justice court advice worker

  • Provide court advice and assistance to young people, their families, other youth justice staff, the judiciary, and legal representatives.
  • Gather information in accordance with this procedure.

Case manager

  • If there is no dedicated youth justice court advice worker, the case manager and senior case manager undertake these tasks.

Team leader / Team manager

  • Undertake CRIS audits to ensure information is recorded as required.
  • Assist the youth justice court advice service worker to manage any transfer issues when young people appear in court outside of the area they reside.

Assistant Director / Manager Individual and Family Support

  • Provide oversight, direction and monitoring of the area youth justice program.
  • Ensure there is youth justice court advice coverage at all scheduled children’s court sittings in your area.

Youth Justice Senior Practice Advisor

  • Provide case consultation, particularly regarding 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

Upon arriving at court

Before attending court, read the procedure for 'Attending court and court etiquette'.

Notify the court registrar that you are attending the court on behalf of youth justice.

When a pre-sentence report is requested

When a pre-sentence report is requested by the court, the youth justice worker will obtain a copy of the request and make contact with the young person.

Only collect information that is required to inform intake and the subsequent allocation of the pre-sentence report.

The 'Court Advice Service client information guide' provides prompts to assist this process.

If it is not possible to schedule the young person’s first appointment at the youth justice office, collect accurate contact details and tell the young person that a youth justice worker will be in touch with them to commence the report writing process.

When a young person receives a youth justice order

When a young person receives a new youth justice order, follow procedures as outlined below.

  • Make contact with the young person.
  • It is not necessary to provide information about the order as this will occur at the intake appointment.
  • Collect relevant information to complete the Client Relationship Information System (CRIS) administrative procedures, which will be done by the youth justice court advice worker or their delegate. Information will be used to allocate the young person to the most appropriate team or worker.
  • If an intake appointment is unable to be scheduled at this time, tell the young person that youth justice will contact them.

Gathering information on a young person from your division

In most cases (with the exception of central courts), young people who appear at court will reside in that division.

Youth justice workers providing advice in these cases will be familiar with their own divisional protocols for forwarding information collected at court to the appropriate team or team leader.

The youth justice court advice service worker or their delegate must enter the information in CRIS by close of business that day or, if this is not possible, within 24 hours of the young person’s appearance in court.

Gathering information on a young person from another division

Sometimes a young person will attend court in a division other than the one in which they live.

In these cases, communication with the division of origin is very important.

As well as collecting information on both the young person and the court order or pre-sentence report request, the worker at court must make phone contact with the young person’s division of origin.

This phone contact can occur immediately after the young person’s appearance at court, or if this is not possible, at the close of business that day.

If an intake appointment cannot be scheduled at this time, tell the young person that youth justice in their division will contact them.

The youth justice court advice service worker or their delegate will enter the relevant information in CRIS and allocate the young person to their team leader.

The team leader must ensure the case is transferred in CRIS to the appropriate team leader in the young person’s division of origin.

Forwarding information to another division

The youth justice court advice service worker must telephone the division of origin and ensure that all hardcopy documentation is forwarded to them.

You can scan and email information, such as a copy of the completed 'Court Advice Service client information guide' and court order.

However all original documentation relating to the case must also be sent to the division of origin via internal (DX) mail service.

In the event of future breach action, the division of origin must have an original copy of the order.

Information with identifying details not be faxed, but can be scanned and emailed to the relevant team leader or worker.

If division of origin is unclear

See procedure for 'Divisional/area case transfers' for more information, including dispute resolution processes.

Adult court supervised bail assessments

When collecting information in the adult courts, use the supervised bail assessment guide (available in the 'Youth justice court advice guidelines') to determine what information is needed.

See the procedure for 'Assessment process for supervised bail and deferral of sentence – adult court' for more information.

Making an intake appointment

If possible, the youth justice court advice worker will make the young person’s first appointment while they are still at court after receiving a court order.

Intake appointments are usually negotiated with an allocated team leader; however, each division will have their own local processes for this.

Privacy and consent requirements

In accordance with the Protocol between Child Protection and Youth Justice 2013, young people must be provided with a copy of 'Your personal information – information for young people receiving youth justice services'. This notice is compliant with legislation and contains information about the collection, use, disclosure and storage of a young person’s personal and heath information.

Entering information on CRIS

Essential information collected at court should be entered on CRIS by close of business on the day the young person appeared in court.

In exceptional circumstances, the information can be entered within 24 hours.

Collecting court documents

Collect original copies of all documentation related to the young person’s case.

This includes charges and summaries, any reports from the young person’s legal representative, references and education or employment verification, where appropriate.

These documents may be scanned into the CRIS file, and originals stored in the hardcopy file.

When youth justice is not present in court

On occasion, the court may sentence a young person to a youth justice order or request a pre-sentence report without consulting or informing youth justice.

In these cases, contact the court and request original copies of all relevant documentation.

When a young person is remanded

If a young person is remanded or sentenced to a youth justice precinct, you should enter their information on CRIS as a priority.

Youth justice precinct staff need to have the young person’s information available when the young person arrives.

Information that is particularly relevant includes:

  • family or guardian contact details
  • legal representative
  • future court dates
  • rationale for remand and other relevant sentencing comments
  • whether there are any reports or assessments requested (for example a children’s court clinic assessment)
  • allocated youth justice worker (or team) if known
  • if the young person is subject to child protection or disability services orders.

It is the responsibility of the court and Victoria Police to ensure that all relevant court paperwork arrives with the young person upon their admission to custody.

Conducting a Youth Justice Group Conference suitability assessment

If the court is considering youth justice group conference (YJGC) for a young person, the magistrate must first request that youth justice conducts a group conference suitability assessment for the young person.

The youth justice worker meets with the young person and their solicitor. The young person should sign the consent for release of information form. Give the CRIS privacy notice to the young person.

The youth justice worker conducts an assessment of the young person’s suitability for YJGC taking into consideration the following factors:

  • The young person understands that the program is voluntary.
  • The young person is clear about the commitment required.
  • The young person is clear about alternative sentencing options and has consulted with their legal representative before giving consent.
  • The young person’s family/partner circumstances enable them to be supported at the group conference.
  • The young person’s living arrangements allow them to engage in the group conference process.
  • Any safety issues or special needs that may affect the young person’s ability to engage with the group conferencing process can be addressed.

See the procedure for 'Court-based suitability assessment for group conferencing' for more information.