For a variety of reasons, young people in residential care are at increased risk of being criminalised and coming into contact with police and the criminal justice system. The following reports outline the link between childhood maltreatment/trauma, subsequent manifestation of behaviours, and the criminalisation and over-representation of young people within the criminal justice system.

The framework comprises:

  • guiding principles that reinforce trauma-informed responses, connection to culture and a positive behaviour approach to inform local practices and procedures to support young people in residential care
  • a decision-making guide for residential care workers to determine whether police involvement is required
  • an agreed approach for police when responding to non-crisis events in residential care homes
  • agreed roles and responsibilities across the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Justice and Community Safety, Victoria Police and residential care service providers to ensure a more coordinated, consistent and collaborative response to young people in residential care.

While the fundamental purpose of the framework is to reduce unnecessary and inappropriate police contact with young people in residential care, it is recognised that police involvement may be necessary, and required, where the safety of the young person, another resident, staff or any other person is at risk.

The intent of the framework is not to preclude professionals from exercising their mandatory obligations including mandatory reporting and requirements to report crimes, particularly those against young people to police. There are also community and public expectations for police involvement that must be maintained, such as in circumstances to ensure community safety.


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