The Asquith Group Case Study
eBook (PDF), 3 Pages
Background In March 2015 a Working Group was established by Andrew Neophytou (CEO, Inner Eastern Local Learning & Employment Network) on behalf of the Inner Metro Youth and Community Partnership (IMCYP).
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Mar 28, 2017Part 7 Eleven Themes at The Asquith Group Case Study 11. Diversion All available evidence suggests that young people coming into contact with the justice system are some of Victoria’s most vulnerable. For example, the Youth Parole Board and Youth Residential Board Annual Report for 2013-14 highlights that a significant number of young people in youth detention come from particularly disadvantaged backgrounds, with 89% having a history of alcohol and/or drug misuse, 60% having been victims of child abuse, trauma or neglect, 59% being current or former child protection clients, and 56% having been suspended or expelled from school. The earlier children and young people have contact with the justice system, the more likely they are to experience further problems with the law, particularly when there are underlying factors. It is imperative that those in the middle years especially are diverted from the justice system into support services at the earliest opportunity. While there have... More > been or are a few valuable pre-plea diversion programs, (including ROPES and Right Step), these have been either limited in scope, locality and/or have had insecure funding. The Victorian government’s investment in a Youth Diversion Pilot program is welcome. We are aware that following a tender process, Jesuit Social Services (JSS) is the provider of this 2105 / 16 program, together with the Youth Support and Advocacy Service (YSAS), who will target young people with little or no history of offending. However we do note that as a Pilot, this Program operates for a limited period (12 months), and caters to limited numbers. There is a strong case to be made for greater investment in diversion programs as part of a bigger package of programs and services in the community, rather than spending money to keep individuals in prisons. For example the cost of new prison infrastructure and expansion of prisons to accommodate an increasing prison population within Victoria is in the hundreds of million of dollars. The 2013–2014 Victorian State Budget committed an extra $131.5 million on top of the $819 million prison funding announced last year to extending the prison system.< Less
Mar 27, 2017Part 6 The Asquith Group Case Study: Eleven Themes 9. Middle Years In photography a triptych form consists of separate images that are variants on a theme. We think of these three sections (Middle Years, Abuse and Trauma, Diversion) as a kind of “triptych”. We know that there are children and young people disengaging from school as early as the middle years, ie from between the ages of 8 and 12. Among the factors that can contribute to early disengagement are family disruption, residential mobility, parent(s) with mental health problems andsubstance misuse, all of which may be associated with poverty and financial hardship. It is true that today “family life itself is less secure and predictable” than it once was. “Relationships are dissolved with less stigma than in the past, marital separation and divorce are more common”. Both Australian and international research also suggests that high levels of residential mobility also have negative consequences for the development of children.... More > Children raised in dysfunctional environments (where there is substance misuse, parental mental health difficulties, financial disadvantage and many other problems) do not fare well. Parental substance misuse frequently co-occurs with many other problems, the combination of which place children at heightened risk of abuse and neglect. The higher prevalence of histories of mental illness, substance abuse, and incarceration among disrupted families helps account for why certain children are more severely impacted by family disruption in the long run than others. Clearly, if we accept some of the most likely contributing factors to early disengagement from school, the challenges that follow are great. However “at present it is not clear whose responsibility it should be to address the gaps in middle years policy and service provision, but generally speaking, policies and services do not cater for those aged between 8 to 12, or 8 to 14. Some organisations and Local Government Areas (LGAs) are now adopting middle years-specific policies. However this is not yet standard practice”.< Less
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- March 9, 2017
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