In this section:

Youth Justice Domestic and Family Violence Strategy and support programs

Responsible government

  • New South Wales

Fourth Action Plan actions

  • Respect, listen and respond to the diverse lived experience and knowledge of women and their children affected by violence
    • 11 Deliver policies and services to address the disproportionate impact of violence on particular groups.
  • Improve support and service system responses
    • 16 Enable workforces to provide trauma-informed support with a focus on safety and recovery to victims and survivors of domestic, family and sexual violence.
    • 18 Improve access to and embed trauma-informed support for perpetrators of domestic, family and sexual violence to prevent reoffending and promote rehabilitation and treatment.

What are we doing?

The Youth Justice Domestic and Family Violence Strategy 2019 – 2022 (the Strategy) is a coordinated approach to addressing the needs of young people who commit, and/or who are victims of, domestic and family violence, and come into contact with the Youth Justice system.

Support programs for young people sentenced to a supervised court order for domestic and family violence offences include evidence-based and trauma-informed individualised support and a range of criminogenic interventions guided by a comprehensive practice framework.

What have we achieved so far?

The Youth Justice Domestic and Family Violence Strategy 2019 – 2022 is the first comprehensive strategy in NSW that addresses the specific needs of young people committing, and/or experiencing, domestic and family violence.

Implementation has progressed, despite periodic COVID restrictions, including:

  • mapping referral pathways and eligibility criteria across programs and support services for young people involved in violence in the home
  • continued support of 10 to 17 year olds who are victims of DFV through the Youth on Track early intervention scheme that identifies and responds to young people at risk of long-term involvement in the criminal justice system (in 2020-21 36% of the Youth on Track participants were known victims of DFV)
  • evaluating two multidisciplinary court-based pilots intended to reduce re-offending and improve outcomes for children and young people in the justice system (Broadmeadow Children’s Court Pilot and A Place to Go)
  • extended the Short-Term Remand project and approved pilot in South Sydney and the Riverina areas which will support young people who are using and or are victims of DFV
  • finalising the development of a 7-module DFV program for young people under Youth Justice supervision
  • commencing training of facilitators for the program for young Aboriginal women and girls (My Journey My Life (Yinnar)) who use and/or experience violence in the home
  • piloting, at Reiby Youth Justice Centre, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), an evidence-based intervention that has been shown to be effective with young people, forensic populations, and people involved in DFV
  • training all YJNSW Psychologists in DBT so that it can be more widely used by YJNSW in Centres and in the community.

The Strategy impacts approximately 200 to 270 young people per week in contact with Youth Justice in the community, Youth Justice Centres, and Youth Justice Conferencing of which it is estimated 72% have been witnesses to or victims of DFV.

What is next?

In 2021, under the four-year Strategy (2019 to 2022), Youth Justice NSW will:

  • Enhance workforce capability with respect to young people who use violence in the home or are victims of violence in the home through the design and delivery of a comprehensive training package. The training package will include a strengthened introductory e-learning module for all Youth Justice staff; one-day training for all staff; specific training for Youth Justice Conference convenors and Assistant Managers; and specific training for caseworkers.
  • Strengthen workforce capability to facilitate safe and effective conduct of Youth Justice Conferences where there is a context of domestic and family violence.
  • Identify funding options to continue research into young peoples’ understanding of Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders, bail conditions and court processes, whilst also starting to implement some digital solutions likely to improve young peoples’ experience of court and Youth Justice.
  • Build on the completed mapping of programs and interventions to develop information packages for Youth Justice staff, young people, and their families.
  • Develop best-practice safety planning resources for young people who use violence in the home.
  • Improve access to psychologists or specialist family counsellors for referral of young people who use violence in the home, and/or are victims of domestic and family violence.

What difference will we make?

The Strategy aims to reduce youth domestic and family violence by:

  • increasing awareness of this form of violence;
  • developing an expert and well-supported workforce; and,
  • ensuring that effective and evidence-based interventions and programs are being delivered to young people in contact with Youth Justice.

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