Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women

Cultural services and support recommendations

The Review made 83 recommendations. These have been sorted into work programs for implementation.

Our objectives

Youth detention centres will be culturally safe spaces for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people. This means that our organisation and our staff will provide quality services that fit with the cultural values of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

We will nurture and support young people’s connections with:

  • family
  • community
  • culture
  • country.

The way forward

To achieve our objectives we will:

  • build on the skills, knowledge and practices of our staff in youth detention centres to plan, support, improve and deliver services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people
  • make decisions that support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people in a culturally respectful and appropriate way
  • improve cultural supports, services and programs in youth detention centres
  • grow our relationships with Elders and communities so that young people are better supported when they leave detention
  • encourage family visits
  • encourage cultural visits
  • develop our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce
  • have a network of cultural advisors and cultural units across Youth Justice to lead and support this work.

Recommendations

Recommendation 7 (status: in progress)

The Review recommends that Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander organisations should play a key role in stakeholder consultation. (7.R5)

We are reviewing the way we consult with stakeholders to ensure communities from across Queensland are represented. This will complement existing stakeholder advisory groups.

We are also exploring ways to sustain these groups in the longer-term. Our need to consult with stakeholders extends beyond the Review project.

Recommendation 12 (status: in progress)

The Review recommends that if Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people are transferred from remote and regional areas of the state, appropriate cultural visits from the young person’s community should be arranged in person or with the use of video conferencing. (7.R10)

Youth detention centres can help families with transport and accommodation costs so they can visit their children in detention. Review funding has increased the budget for this.

We will continue to establish cultural units at each youth detention centre. Our cultural units help young people to maintain contact with their community.

Cultural engagement officers and cultural visits coordinators will lead work around in-person and video visits for young people from remote and rural areas of the state.

Recommendation 25 (status: closed)

The Review recommends that external stakeholders should be invited to join the FNAB. (9.R9)

We invite external stakeholders to participate in Youth Justice First Nations Action Board sub-group meetings across the state, as appropriate.

Recommendation 26 (status: in progress)

The Review recommends that consultation with external Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders to develop, design and implement cultural-specific programs should occur as a matter of priority.

In respect of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people, this should include consultation with community Elders. (9.R10)

The department is developing a Queensland-based framework for cultural programs. The framework will provide guidance on:

  • key components and themes
  • locally relevant stakeholders, knowledge and history
  • resources and tools to support skill development
  • risk factors and risk assessment.

Recommendation 71 (status: in progress)

The Review recommends that a communication liaison position should be created to manage individual complaints and incidents relating to use of force and separation within the detention centres, ensuring consistent and adequate communication with parents, families and guardians is provided. (17.R13)

Young people are given a detention-based caseworker when they are admitted to the centre. This is in addition to their community-based YJ caseworker. Caseworkers keep in contact with the young person’s family.

We have updated our policies and procedures to improve the support to young people’s families and to embed the role of cultural units in our youth detention centres. This way we can ensure that culturally appropriate contact is made with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families if issues, including complaints and incidents, arise.

Cleveland Youth Detention Centre is currently expanding its existing cultural unit. Brisbane Youth Detention Centre will establish a similar unit when their cultural review is complete.

Each centre also has a client relations manager who is responsible for managing all young person related complaints. This role reports directly to the executive director to ensure independence from the day-to-day operating of the centre.

Recommendation 72 (status: in progress)

The Review recommends that parents and guardians should be advised of all incidents occurring in youth detention centres for which their children are subjected to use of force, restrained, separated or as a result of which they may have suffered harm as defined in the Youth Justice Act 1992, Section 268. (17.R14)

Caseworkers keep in contact with young people’s families and advise them about what is happening with their child. Also see the response to recommendation 71.

Recommendation 75 (status: in progress)

The Review recommends that a communication liaison position should be created to manage individual incidents, use of force and separation within the detention centres, and should ensure that consistent and adequate communication with parents, families and guardians is provided. (18.R2)

Our processes in youth detention centres continue to be refined. Updates to our policies and procedures will improve the support given to young people’s families. Also see the response to recommendation 71.

Is your feedback

Please submit your comments on the department's Compliments and Complaints section.

Please submit your comments on the Queensland Government website Contacts form.