Our Services / Youth Support Service
Youth Support Service
“Words cannot express my gratitude. The work you do is phenomenal. These kids are extremely lucky to have you guide them, mentor them and be a friend.”
– Mother, Client Youth Support Service
ABOUT THE YOUTH SUPPORT SERVICE
The Youth Support Service (YSS) provides case management for young people aged 10 – 17 years upon first contact with police. The program offers proactive support and early intervention to divert young people from the youth justice system.
YSS is a voluntary program for young people who need some additional support to make positive changes in their lives. Our youth workers build strong and trusting relationships with young people and their families to navigate challenging issues like risky behaviours that can lead to a negative spiral.
Our program benefits from a long-standing relationship with local police through briefing sessions, presentations and events. Over the years, we’ve developed an innovative series of events engaging police and young people, building mutual respect and understanding. These events have included our annual Cops N Kids – Cricket Match, the Intermission program, a trip to Kokoda Trail and Cops N Kids baseball.
Funded by the Victorian Government’s Department of Justice and Community Safety, our YSS program operates within the Local Government Areas of Hobsons Bay, Maribyrnong and Moonee Valley.
WHAT DOES THE PROGRAM OFFER?
The program provides intensive support to young people through counselling and support they need to help turn their lives around. Importantly, our youth workers have links to a comprehensive range of support services including:
- Mental health
- Drug and alcohol counselling
- Education and recreation
- Training and employment services
- Family support services
Working closely with local schools, police and other service providers, the YSS team engages and connects with young people, assisting them to reconnect with their families, education and community.
We also provide support to help the young person understand and manage the justice system.
WHAT IS THE ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA?
Young people must have come into contact with police, be aged between 10 and 17 years and reside in the following Local Government Areas:
- City of Hobson’s Bay
- City of Maribyrnong
- City of Moonee Valley
During 2019-20, our Youth Support Service worked with 72 young people with the majority of clients between the ages of 10-17. Our research shows that 80% of the kids who we work with have no further contact with police while they are working with us. The most common country of birth was Australian (85%), following by Horn of African (10%) and New Zealand / Asian (5%).
Jim Markovski OAM
Manager, Youth Services
E: [email protected]
Ph: (03) 9689 4800 or 0417 115 817