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Youth Justice Mental Health Program

This program improves youth justice clients’ access to mental health services. It enhances the capacity of youth justice and mental health staff to effectively meet the needs of young people requiring mental health services.

Six dedicated clinical positions work exclusively with custodial and community youth justice services. One of these is based at Forensicare and provides direct services into the Parkville Youth Justice Precinct, as well as coordinating the initiative overall and supervising the other five clinicians.

Clinicians provide hands-on training and support for youth justice staff, as well as consultancy and direct clinical services for young people on youth justice orders.

This program results in:

  • earlier identification and intervention with mental health problems for youth justice clients
  • improved access to appropriate mental health treatment and support
  • enhanced capability, skill and confidence of youth justice and mental health staff to respond effectively to young people in the youth justice system requiring mental health support, and
  • improved pro-social functioning and life chances of these young people.

Ongoing evaluation since the program started in 2010 shows that this program continues to be very successful. Forensicare’s involvement in coordination and training has been praised by key stakeholders in youth justice and the Department of Health and Human Services.