Youth Justice NSW Community Offices
Youth Justice Community Offices provide a range of services to support young people involved in the criminal justice system. Learn about the offices and what support is available to young people.
What is a Youth Justice NSW Community Office?
Youth Justice Community Offices support young people involved in, or at risk of being in the criminal justice system. They provide offence-focused intervention programs and supervise young people on community orders.
At each Youth Justice Community Office, there are caseworkers that support young people.
The caseworkers support young people to:
make better choices and stop offending
understand their legal order.
After a young person receives a legal order with a supervised condition, they must contact their local Community Office.
Youth Justice caseworkers support young people who are on court orders where supervision is a condition of the court. Caseworkers also arrange any community service work or clean-up work a young person may have to do.
A young person may also meet a caseworker if the court requests a background report. The courts use the background report to decide on an appropriate sentence for the young person. Find more information about background reports.
Community Offices supervise the following court orders:
community service orders
community clean up orders
suspended control orders
When a young person receives one of these orders, they are teamed with a Youth Justice caseworker at the Community Office closest to where they live. The caseworker will help the young person follow their legal order conditions and change their offending behaviour.
Community offices also manage referrals to a Youth Justice Conference and provide additional support to young people in custody and their families.
What is a Youth Justice caseworker?
A Youth Justice caseworker is someone who works for Youth Justice NSW and supports young people after they become involved with the police. Caseworkers help young people understand why they got into trouble with the law. The caseworker will make sure the young person is doing what the court said.
A young person may meet their caseworker at a Youth Justice Community Office, or they may meet in the community. But it must be somewhere that is safe for the young person and the Youth Justice caseworker. If they want to, the young person can bring a support person to the meeting.
All Youth Justice caseworkers are mandatory reporters. This means the caseworker must tell others and make a report if a young person is:
- in danger
- putting others in danger.
Youth Justice caseworkers must also tell police if a young person has committed a crime that the police don't know about.
All other information a young person tells a caseworker is private.
Court orders and conferences
If the young person has been issued with a court order, a Youth Justice caseworker meets with the young person to make sure the young person knows what is going to happen and what they must do.
The caseworker will also explain:
- what help the young person can get
- how the young person can speak up if they are unhappy.
The caseworker and young person will work together on a case plan to help the young person achieve their goals.
Some of these goals will be ‘must do’ goals, like doing work in the community. Other goals will be ‘can do’ goals, like getting a birth certificate or driver’s licence. Many young people feel a sense of achievement when they complete their goals.
Going to meetings with a caseworker is mandatory. If a young person does not go to their meetings, Youth Justice NSW must tell the court.
Youth Justice also help with Youth Justice Conference referrals from police and the courts. For more information, see Conferencing.
Services and programs
Youth Justice Community Offices provide the following services:
- supporting young people who are detained in custody and are having difficulty being granted bail
- delivering intervention programs that target young people’s offending behaviour
- arranging specialised services from psychologists, such as psychological assessments and counselling
- linking young people to services in their local community including drug and alcohol, mental health and mentoring services, as well as social and sporting programs
- helping young people remain in school or start other education courses, such as NSW TAFE courses
- helping young people find employment using local employment services
- finding accommodation for young people experiencing homelessness or family breakdown
- connecting with a young person’s cultural background and local community.
Community Offices provide support and services tailored to each young person’s age, gender, culture, and disability by:
- consulting with experts
- using visual representations of cultural diversity
- accessing translators and translated materials
- catering to different learning styles
- using culturally appropriate programs and interventions.
For more information about programs and services offered by Community Offices, see Offence-focused intervention programs.
Support services provided by non-government organisations
Youth Justice NSW funds non-government organisations (NGOs) to deliver a range of services that help young people reduce their risk of re-offending and address their underlying needs. To find out more about the services and programs young people can be referred to by Youth Justice and NSW Police, see Support services.