A NEW approach to restoring harm amongst young people, their families, peers, school and community is set to be launched in Albury today by Cr Neville Hull.
YES Youth and Family Services CEO Dianne Glover said “Restorative Conferencing is an internationally recognised approach of bringing key people together to address underlying issues contributing to a young person engaging in criminal activity and anti social behaviour”.
“YES Youth and Family Services are thrilled to receive funding from the Australian Government, Attorney General’s Department, to introduce a suite of restorative approaches including models that can be adopted in schools and the community, which involve family and group conferencing and youth conferencing”.
Enormous benefits have been recorded from other communities using these models. These include:
- Accountability by the wrongdoer;
- Reducing offending behaviour with young people;
- Acting and supporting young people earlier;
- Increasing school attendance and engagement; and
- Addressing key issues impacting on the young person’s well being.
YES Youth and Family Services has worked with Albury Police Local Area Command, the Department of Education and Training NSW, Westside Community Centre, representatives from the Albury Wodonga Community Working Party, Albury City Council, Juvenile Justice NSW and Wiradjuri Elders since early 2009 to get to where we are today.
Today also completes three days of intensive training for 15 local workers who will become conference convenors. Their role is to support all aspects of conducting a Restorative Conference, from liaising with parents/carers of the young person, liaising with the victim, informing the respective parties of the process and inviting other support agencies to attend. Restorative conferencing will be piloted in four Albury schools and Westside Community Centre over the next 12 months. An ongoing, interactive evaluation of the initiative is being undertaken by the University of Tasmania, Tasmanian Institute of Law Enforcement Studies.
The official Launch of Albury’s Restorative Conferencing will be at 10.30am, Wednesday, 20, July, Mirambeena Community Centre, 19 Martha Mews, Lavington.