- Current status
- Custodial operations
- Community services
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Current status – as at 5 June 2023
There are no young people in a Youth Justice Precinct who have tested positive to COVID-19. There is one staff member who has tested positive to COVID-19 and no staff members identified as a close contact.
Over the past seven days (29 May to 5 June), 25 members of staff tested positive and four staff members identified as close contacts. Over this time, no young people tested positive. All cases are being managed in line with current public health advice.
Youth Justice has a COVID-19 management plan in place which is frequently reviewed in line with current public health advice.
COVID-19 admission arrangements for all new receptions remain in place.
Custodial facilities are operational
Youth Justice is continuing to operate its custodial facilities at the Parkville and Malmsbury precincts.
Youth Justice has a COVID-19 management plan in place which is frequently reviewed in line with current health advice.
Personal visits are being conducted remotely and in person.
Young people can speak with their families and case managers regarding booking visits.
Families can also request visits by calling the visits booking number on 1300 064 035.
Face-to-face professional visits are being conducted in person and may include visits from legal representatives, court related assessments or the Independent Visitors Program.
Young people can also continue to access virtual professional visits.
Essential face-to-face professional visits have continued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with case-by-case assessments of what constitutes an essential professional visit.
Current admissions process
All young people entering custody are Rapid Antigen Tested for COVID-19 on arrival.
COVID-19 screening measures are vital to protect young people and staff and have helped prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Youth Justice custodial facilities.
COVID-19 arrangements are being continuously reviewed, based on transmission risk in the broader community and current public health advice
Meeting young people's needs
Where required, Youth Justice is equipped to deliver services remotely, including:
- education and case management services
- visits for young people with loved ones
- cultural and religious supports
- some medical and mental health checks.
Primary health and most mental health services – including nursing, general practitioner (GP) and specialist Intensive Intervention Unit services – continue to be delivered on-site when required, in line with COVIDSafe principles.
Education and training
Education and training programs are being delivered face-to-face for most children and young people.
Temporary leave arrangements are now available to young people.
Mitigating transmission risks
A number of precautionary measures are in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in youth justice facilities.
This includes regular Rapid Antigen Testing for all staff and contracted providers, and screening and testing of all visitors and staff when they call to book a visit or attend a Youth Justice Precinct.
N95 face masks are available for use at the precinct and staff and visitors are encouraged to wear a mask for their protection.
Continuing our strong community services
Youth Justice is continuing to supervise young people who are subject to community-based orders.
Using remote supervision
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Youth Justice has used remote service delivery to supervise young people, with the assistance of technology (for example, Zoom and Skype).
For young people who do not have access to such technology, Youth Justice has provided devices to facilitate their ongoing supervision.
Increasing in-person supervision
The level of face-to-face support to young people under Youth Justice supervision continues to be informed by public health advice, risks to community safety and the needs of young people and their families.
Supporting the operation of Courts
Youth Justice continues to work with the Children’s Court of Victoria during the pandemic to ensure court matters are progressed.
The Children’s Court Youth Diversion service continues to operate.
Children and young people in custody who need to appear before courts can do so remotely via technology and audio-visual link.
Youth Justice is also supporting children and young people on supervised community-based orders who need to appear before courts. Young people can access the courts remotely via secure technology, or attend in person, as directed by the court.