The Embedded Youth Outreach Program today received a gold award in the police-led category of the 2023 Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards (ACVPAs).
The ACVPAs recognise best practice in the prevention or reduction of violence and other types of crime in Australia and play a vital role in highlighting effective community-based initiatives to prevent crime and violence before it occurs.
Led by Victoria Police, and delivered with the Youth Support and Advocacy Service, the Embedded Youth Outreach Program is an evidence-based frontline partnership where police members and youth workers collaborate to deliver after-hours services when young people are most likely to be at risk of offending or victimisation. By engaging with a young person, assessing their needs and referring them to youth-specific supports, the program has been seen to reduce the risk of long-term involvement in the criminal justice system.
An independent evaluation demonstrated that young people in crisis are connected to services immediately, and youth offending and victimisation are reduced. The benefits of the program outweigh the costs and provide significant long-term government savings.
“Through partnering with youth workers and acknowledging their skills and expertise, evidence has shown that the program has succeeded in reducing youth offending. This opportunity for co-delivery of services, youth engagement and service linkage would not be available with police members responding alone,” said program director Commander Mark Galliott.
“This youth outreach program has identified at risk youth and developed a framework which targets their needs and interrupts the offending pathway. Early engagement and support referrals are becoming increasingly effective in the youth crime and violence prevention space,” said Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) Deputy Director Dr Rick Brown.
These annual awards recognise the outstanding contributions being made across Australia for crime prevention, including the development and implementation of practical projects to reduce violence and other types of crime in the community.
The awards are a joint initiative of the Australian, state and territory governments and are delivered by the AIC. All projects are assessed each year by the ACVPA Board, which consists of senior law enforcement representatives from each state and territory police service, and is chaired by the AIC Director.
For more information about the award winners, please visit aic.gov.au/acvpa.
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