The New South Wales Department of Juvenile Justice (JJNSW) has piloted the Intensive Supervision Program (ISP) in Werrington and Newcastle. The program adheres to the international evidence-based Multisystemic Therapy (MST) approach. The ISP targets chronic juvenile offenders and seeks to empower caregivers to enhance parenting as well as advocate for the young person with schools/vocational institutions, community organisations and peers. The program structure allows discretion to design programs for individuals and families while closely following the MST model. The program works in the home with the family and provides 24/7 support. Many of the families had previously experienced unsuccessful outcomes with other programs.

The aim of the research project, carried out by a team from Western Sydney University, was firstly to consider the impact of the ISP beyond the young person’s reoffending and upon his or her life as a whole, and secondly to investigate the economic effect of life changes brought about by the impact of the ISP.

The families interviewed had completed the ISP from one to three years prior to the interview with the research team. The passage of time allowed the researchers to evaluate sustained change in the families. It also allowed a better prediction of the long-term trajectory of the young person and family from behavioural and economic perspectives.

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