Children's Court of Victoria Banner
Home > Jurisdictions > Criminal > Youth Diversion

Youth Diversion

In the 2016/17 Budget the Victorian Government announced funding to deliver a statewide youth diversion program.  This follows the successful completion of a 12 month pilot. 

From January 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services will deliver the Children’s Court Youth Diversion service (CCYD) in all Children’s Courts across Victoria.

CCYD provides an opportunity for eligible children and young people appearing before the Children’s Court to:

  • address harm caused by their offending by taking responsibility and completing a diversion activity
  • address the underlying causes of their offending
  • where required, receive assistance to engage with support services
  • on the successful completion of the diversion activity have the charge/s dismissed, with a non-disclosable criminal record for the offence/s subject to the diversion order
  • avoid the stigma associated with a criminal record and its impact on future life opportunities.

Eligibility

CCYD will target children and young people charged with low-level offences with little or no criminal history who would otherwise be sentenced to an outcome not requring supervision with the youth justice service. Prior to CCYD most would leave court without an intervention to assist them to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes to manage their lives effectively without further offending.

Intervention

Diversion orders provide a brief intervention that is tailored to a young person’s individual circumstances and proportionate to the circumstances of the offence/s before the court.
CCYD coordinators will attend all scheduled sittings of the Criminal Division of the Children’s Court to:

  • conduct same-day assessments following a magistrate’s referral
  • advise the court on suitability for diversion
  • report back to the court on a young person’s compliance with the court’s direction.

When asked by the court to assess a young person’s suitability for diversion, the CCYD coordinator will consult with the young person, their family or carer, Victoria Police prosecutors and legal representatives.

A diversion order may contain a range of conditions for the child or young person. Conditions will be underpinned by the principles of diversion and targeted to promote reparation of harm caused by the offence/s. CCYD coordinators will manage risks identified through assessment and by engaging supports to promote the completion of a diversion activity. The intervention will build on and strengthen a young person’s existing relationships and interests, engaging them in the context of their family or carer and their community to promote positive change.

Contact CCYD coordinators via ccyd@dhhs.vic.gov.au for further information on the service.