Activity: Participating in or organising an event types › Contribution to conference
A significant proportion of young people leaving Out of Home Care make their transition to independence via the Youth Justice system, exposing them to further risks and reducing their likelihood of full social and economic engagement in mainstream society. This presentation outlines initial findings of a research project based on a partnership between Monash University and seven non-government child and youth welfare agencies in Victoria, Australia. Seventy-seven key stakeholders participated in interviews and focus groups with a view to identifying practices and policies that could reduce the over-representation of young people leaving Out of Home Care in the Youth Justice system. Findings document a range of factors that contribute to offending, varied responses by the Child Protection and Youth Justice systems, limited utility of leaving care plans, and the availability of a range of preventative and diversionary programs. Particular attention is drawn to the impact of trauma upon the development of young people leaving care, and the suitability of systems responses to young people’s offending behaviour within this context. Overall, results of the consultations pointed to a need for more formalised interagency collaboration, and intensification of the interventions and supports offered both in custodial and out of home care settings and post discharge from custody or care.