Our services

HOW WE CAN HELP

All YAC staff work with young people and agree on the actions which will be taken. Outreach is a key part of the youth, family and bail supports in particular: staff will go to where young people are and where young people are comfortable to meet.

LEGAL  HELP

YAC’s lawyers can:

  • give advice on a range of legal matters which affect young people
  • go to court with young people  – Children’s Court for criminal and child protection matters and sometimes the Childrens Court of Queensland or the District Court for criminal matters
  • assist young people in relation to school suspension or exclusion

HOMELESSNESS AND YOUTH SUPPORT 

YAC workers can provide young people with information, advice, referral and support and advocacy for things like:

  • help for young people (15-25) who are homeless or risk of homelessness with finding accommodation and support in maintaining accommodation
  • support young people at court, including writing a report for the court where appropriate
  • support, advocacy and practical assistance to young people who do not have strong family or other supports to address things which are putting them at risk of homelessness or involvement with the youth justice system – hassles with income, education; lack of independent living skills; lack of engagement with positive activities; mental health or substance use challenges
  • support and advocacy for young people while in and when leaving the child protection or youth justice systems – “transitioning” – including leaving the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre
  • support young people who have been a victim of crime.

Support may be casual or intensive, short term or longer term, depending on the needs and wishes of the individual young person. The level and type of support is agreed between the young person and the worker.

 FAMILY SUPPORT 

YAC can provide information, advice, referral and support and advocacy  for young people and their families and in particular can:

  • advocate on behalf of individual young people within their families as well as in relation to court and schools, especially suspension and exclusion matters
  • work on family relationships and the young person’s issues within and external to their family (The Three Rs” – Rebuild, Relationships, Respect) and assist with individual and family counselling
  • assist parents to better understand their child and then be better able to support and advocate for them
  • provide court support for young people and their families in relation to youth justice matters, including writing a report for the court where appropriate

BAIL AND ORDER SUPPORT SERVICE (BOSS)

BOSS staff work with young people aged 10 – 17 years who are :

  • connected to the Youth Justice Service Centres at the Sunshine Coast, Caboolture, Redcliffe, Brisbane N, Brisbane S, Redlands, Gold Coast
  •  remanded in custody or on a conditional bail program
  • considered by YJ to be at risk of re-offending or non-compliance with their orders
  • homeless or at risk of homelessness

The aim is to re-connect young people with learning/employment, their family and culture, and ensure they have somewhere appropriate to live, so that young people can avoid further contact with the justice system including by complying with court orders or conditions. This can also address things which are putting young people at risk of homelessness or involvement with the youth justice system – lack of independent living skills; lack of engagement with positive activities; mental health or substance use challenges.

Although young people are referred to BOSS by Youth Justice officers, working with BOSS is voluntary so the young person has to agree before the staff will take them on. BOSS is not involved in any breach of orders by YJ officers.

YOUTH COURT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (YCAP)

YCAP is a community based program, developed by the Youth Advocacy Centre’s homelessness and youth support program. It has been operating in the Brisbane Childrens Court for many years, was introduced to Caboolture and Pine Rivers in 2018 and is now being rolled out to Redcliffe, Cleveland, Southport, Richlands, Ipswich and Cairns Childrens Courts.  YCAP aims to provide short term, consistent assistance and support to young people required to attend court through a flexible, and voluntary model of support at court and:

  • provides information and support to young people about the court process
  • makes on the spot referrals and assessments to specialist youth accommodation services
  • identifies young people’s other welfare needs and provides information and referrals relevant to that
  • links with the relevant court bail support program.

LEGAL EDUCATION

The Community Legal Education (CLE)  lawyer can give:

  • information sessions for young people in schools, alternative learning programs, youth agencies or similar
  • information sessions for welfare agency staff, lawyers, social workers, teachers, students and other interested groups about YAC and basic legal information
  • lectures, workshops and papers on request in relation to young people and the law
  • in conjunction with YAC’s youth homelessness and support program manager, deliver practical workshops for those who work with young people on legal issues relevant to young people and how the law impacts on their work and decision making as workers with young people – Laying Down the  Law.   YAC can deliver this training on a fee for service basis around the State.

SEE ALSO:

  • LEGAL INFO: this has has information sheets which answer young people’s most commonly asked questions about the law and legal issues.
  • RESOURCES FOR WORKERS: including info about Laying Down the  Law