Youth crime prevention program
The Ballarat Youth Crime Prevention Project is an initiative funded by the Victorian Government’s Community Crime Prevention Program to address offending behavior and recidivism in young people who have had contact with, or have a demonstrated risk of being involved with the criminal justice system.
The Youth Crime Prevention Program is an early intervention service providing a new support pathway to a Multi-Agency Support Team (MAST) for up to 55 young people aged 10 to 17 years and their families.
The program is voluntary and there is no cost to young people or their families to participate.
The service is for young people aged 10 to 17 years who have two to three recorded crime incidents or have been issued multiple cautions or had multiple police contacts, and their offending behaviour has become or is at risk of becoming more serious.
Referral into the program is only through Victoria Police and Youth Support Services (YSS) at Ballarat Community Health.
What does MAST provide?
MAST provides young people and their families with their own Multi-Agency Support Team comprising a range of professionals from family services, police, education and health, as well as the young person’s family and/or other support networks.
Young people and their families receive priority access to a range of supports matched to their individual needs – ranging from specialist therapeutic care to structured community activities.
How does it work?
MAST provides each young person with a full assessment to work out their specific risk and protective factors related to offending.
The Senior MAST Coordinator (based at Berry Street) then brings together the Multi Agency Support Team. The Senior MAST Coordinator works closely with the young person and their family, assisting them to take part in and guide the MAST process and to develop their plan.
The Senior MAST Coordinator manages the delivery of the planned services and activities, ensuring the young person and their family are getting the supports they need.
What else will the project achieve?
In addition to supporting the 55 young people through the MAST, the project will also test new ways of working and make or recommend changes to how organisations work individually and collaboratively with young people at risk of recidivism.
The project is a joint initiative of:
- Ballarat Community Health (lead agency)
- Ballarat City Council – Youth Services
- Berry Street (Western)
- Child and Family Services Ballarat Inc (CAFS)
- Department of Education and Training
- Department of Health and Human Services
- Department of Justice and Community Safety
- Highlands LLEN
- SalvoConnect Ballarat
- Uniting (Ballarat)
- Victoria Police
- YMCA Ballarat.