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Youth Support Officer - Preston / Shepparton

Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service
  • Preston or Shepparton location

This is an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander designated position, classified under Section 12 Special Measures of the Equal Opportunity Act 2010.

This employment opportunity is only available to Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.


The Youth Support Officer acts as liaison between the Balit Ngulu Legal Services and Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander young people taken into custody by the police and/or engaged with related youth justice processes, such as court. The Youth Support Officer has an educational role in crime prevention and reduction, and in conjunction with other facilities, to provide for alternative programs to Aboriginal young people and communities.

The Youth Support Officer works closely with young people and their families and key service providers to support effective and sustained engagement with Balit Ngulu Legal Services. This includes supporting culturally safe and appropriate safety and support plans for individual young people, in collaboration with them, their families and other members of their community and networks. This can include advocacy and making referrals to programs and resources that help divert young people from the criminal justice system. This includes programs that support desistance from offending and that support positive self-esteem, healthy and safe relationships and engagement with key community services, such as education, mental health, domestic and family violence, drug and alcohol and sports and leisure services. This can include promoting opportunities for accountability and rehabilitation that contributes to the reduction of crime in the community.

The Youth Support Officer provides community-based support and facilitates the effective coordination and sequencing of appropriate support services for young people who are appearing before, or have been sentenced by, the Children’s Court, Children’s Koori Court and adult criminal courts and who have been placed on youth justice supervised orders.

Key Performance Indicators, Duties & Responsibility

  1. Make contact with the Aboriginal youth affected, accurately identify the issue to be resolved, work with the client on identifying appropriate solutions that will work for them, and establish warm links or referrals to existing programs and services to resolve the issue
  2. In partnership with service providers, provide information to young people, their families and carers on procedures,
    practices, guidelines, legislation and furthermore provide advice of the role the Balit Ngulu Legal Services.
  3. Attend court to support the client and the solicitor;
  4. As directed, lodge all necessary court documents;
  5. Support clients by providing holistic support to increase young people’s opportunities of enhanced quality of life and community
    inclusion. This includes working closely with the young person, their family and other key service providers to develop bespoke support plans that are tailored to the individual and focus on keeping the young person safe and to effectively engage in support that develops insight and know-how-for reducing at risk behaviour and offending. This includes goal setting, monitoring progress, advocacy and referrals.
  6. Advocate within the broader community on behalf of clients and their families to support inclusion, participation and respect for rights.
  7. Liaise and network with other Aboriginal organisations and agencies to promote Balit Ngulu and be aware of programs that
    will assist in the prevention or reduction of crime by Aboriginal young people supported in relevant service areas of the program;
  8. Liaise with police and other persons within the justice system to ensure delivery of a culturally relevant service;
  9. Perform a range of administrative tasks to ensure the effective delivery of services to Balit Ngulu Legal Service;
  10. Represent Balit Ngulu Legal Services at various meetings and report back on those meetings to Balit Ngulu Legal Services
  11. Provide activity reports on a timely basis;
  12. Participates in ongoing training and staff development and acts and remains professional at all times, upholding VALS
  13. As directed, undertake other duties as directed which are incidental and peripheral to the main tasks, provided that such duties are reasonably within the employee’s skills, competence and training.

Key Selection Criteria

  • A demonstrated understanding of the youth justice system, particularly the principles and philosophy underpinning relevant legislation and the legal issues faced by Victorian Aboriginal communities.
  • A demonstrated knowledge of the Victorian legal system;
  • An understanding of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 and key amendments and associated policies and guidelines that youth justice workers use. Understanding of Children’s Court practices and procedures or ability to obtain such knowledge
  • An excellent understanding of Victorian Aboriginal communities and the issues important to community, particularly as these relate to young people
  • Demonstrated experience working with the Aboriginal community and with young people; and in working to support effectively coordinated support for young people as part of a whole-family and whole-community approach
  • Excellent written, verbal communication and interpersonal skills;
  • A commitment to and understanding of Victorian Aboriginal culture and communities, and the ability to communicate effectively with members of those communities;
  • The ability to work in a multi-skilled environment;
  • Excellent computer skills.

A position description is attached.

How to apply

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