A Place To Go – Helping young people reach their potential and reducing the number of young people entering remand in NSW

REDUCING THE NUMBER OF YOUNG PEOPLE ENTERING REMAND IN NSW

Young people who come into contact with the juvenile justice system are more likely to experience a range of longer term poor outcomes, such as poorer mental and physical health, and disengagement from education.

The goal of the A Place To Go project was to work with agencies across government to design new wraparound support services to improve the outcomes of vulnerable young people aged 10-17 years entering and exiting the juvenile justice system, and to reduce the number of children and young people entering remand.

The Strategy Group facilitated a design-led process through three phases in partnership with Their Futures Matter, a NSW Government reform unit. We brought together diverse agency representatives from 12 government agencies including Juvenile Justice, Health, NSW Police Force, Education, and Family and Community Services, as well as some non-government representatives.

“This initiative required identifying gaps in service delivery and reorganising the way government agencies work with each other. You can only do that by talking to people at the frontline and applying design thinking.”

–Tahn O’Brien, Director, Their Futures Matter

THE APPROACH

 

Cross-agency collaboration to understand and address all perspectives 

The design of this project was centred on collaboration and co-design. We utilised stakeholder expertise, the client voice and rigorous academic review to design wraparound services for young people in contact with the juvenile justice system.

Over nine short weeks, we challenged stakeholders to work in small cross-agency teams to: define the problems to be solved, ideate new solutions, and design services that will deliver meaningful change for vulnerable young people. Over 130 new ideas were produced, and several were developed to form part of the wraparound service solutions.

Focus groups with client representatives helped to refine the ideas and solutions put forward, ensuring that the final outcomes were grounded authentically in the client’s voice.

 

THE OUTCOME

 

Co-designed wrap-around services to support young people in contact with the juvenile justice system

The new wraparound services use the young person’s contact with police and/or the Children’s Court as an opportunity to provide support to reduce entries into remand and the likelihood of further contact with the juvenile justice system.

Solution elements include:

  1. An adolescent specialist caseworker to help address issues that can prevent young people from meeting the conditions of their bail (such as accommodation)
  2. Increased access to therapeutic, trauma-informed short-term and transitional accommodation.
  3. A court-based multidisciplinary team to improve information sharing with the Children’s Court and support young people to re-engage in education.
  4. A multidisciplinary youth health team helping young people to access assessments and support to meet their mental and physical health needs.
  5. Integrated case oversight through use of multi-agency panels.
  6. Brokerage funding.

“By partnering with The Strategy Group, we have been able to very quickly implement a solution which will give young people the chance to change their life trajectory and reach their potential.”

–Alexandra Hallen, Manager Cohort Analysis & Design, Their Futures Matter

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