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Youth on Track has six key stages.
There are two referral pathways to Youth on Track which include:
Discretionary referrals made by NSW Police, Education, Youth Justice NSW, Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health, solicitors, Community Services, Out of Home Care Providers, Community Health, Family Referral Service, Headspace and other mental health services
Automatic referrals using the police database
Young people are eligible for Youth on Track if they:
Have at least one formal contact with police and a number of offending risk factors (discretionary)
Have at least two formal contacts with police and are at 60% or greater chance of reoffending (automatic)
Are 10 – 17 years old
Have never received a supervised court order
Offend or go to school in one of the Youth on Track sites
If the young person is eligible for the scheme they are referred to the Youth on Track service provider in their area: Mission Australia, Social Futures or Centacare. The referral includes information about whether the young person has existing case managers with Department of Family and Community Services.
The Youth on Track Referrer Fact Sheet [PDF, 238KB] contains more information about the eligibility, referral and screening process.
Once the young person is referred, the Youth on Track caseworker contacts the young person and their family to offer a service and to arrange a meeting to explain the detail of Youth on Track and gain their consent to participate. The Youth on Track caseworker works with NSW Police, local schools, community groups, and other stakeholders to locate and engage young people and their families.
If the young person has an existing case manager with another agency, the Youth on Track service provider contacts the case manager before contacting the young person or parent. Youth on Track will discuss with the existing case manager how Youth on Track can complement the existing case plan to address the young person's criminogenic risks and needs and provide an offence-focused intervention.
Information on barriers and strategies to engaging clients [PDF 152kB].
Once a young person consents to participate in Youth on Track, they are assigned a case manager who conducts two types of assessments:
Youth Level of Service/Case Management Inventory
– Australian Adaptation (YLS/CMI-AA) is a validated risk/needs assessment and case management tool. The YLS/CMI assesses eight domains of criminogenic risks and needs in the young person's life and informs the level and types of interventions to ensure that case planning is focused in the appropriate areas of need.
Young people referred to Youth on Track must be screened for cognitive disabilities using the Child and Adolescent Intellectual Disability Screening Questionnaire (CAIDS-Q). The CAIDS-Q does not assess whether the young person has a cognitive disability, but indicates whether the young person should be referred to an appropriate clinician to receive further assessment
The Youth on Track service provider must provide individual case management to each young person. The Youth on Track case manager is required to develop a case plan with each young person and their family that focuses on addressing the young person's individual risks and needs as identified through the assessment tools.
Youth on Track case management is a combined direct service case management and coordination model that focuses on criminogenic needs. This combined model requires Youth on Track case managers to coordinate service delivery, facilitate access to supports, and deliver offence-focused interventions. The Youth on Track service provider provides casework and interventions following the principles of risks, needs and responsivity.
The Youth on Track service provider provides access to a range of evidence-informed interventions that meet the needs of the young person and their family and addresses the underlying causes of their offending behaviour.
These interventions include:
For more information on interventions and ways of working to reduce young people re-offending, see the 'What Works' with Young Offenders: Youth on Track Guidelines.
Exit planning focuses on strategies for the young person and their family to continue to improve outcomes and reduce the likelihood of the young person re-offending.
The Youth on Track case manager identifies through the YLS/CMI-AA whether a young person has completed the scheme and is ready to exit Youth on Track.
The case manager works with the young person and their family to conduct an exit plan and helps to facilitate access to ongoing community supports where required. The exit process is participatory and allows the young person and their family to identify issues or concerns regarding their involvement with the Youth on Track scheme.
An acknowledgement of the achievements made by the young person and their family is also included in this process. Ongoing follow up and contact between the case manager, the young person and their family is also discussed.