13/01/2021 | Michelle Lensink MLC | Better Services

Increasing community contribution and providing a wider variety of programs and activities for young people in the justice system will be the focus of the State Government’s new community service order (CSO) program.

SYC has been selected through a competitive tender process to assist young people in the justice system develop new positive pathways while they participate in the CSO program.

The not-for-profit organisation will deliver the program in metropolitan South Australia from next month, while the Department of Human Services will deliver the program in all regional and remote areas of the state.

Community Service is a supervisory mandate that requires Youth Justice clients to particulate in structured work activities and/or programs where youth must complete a set number of hours within a specified timeframe.

Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink said partnering with SYC will deliver a much better program for young people to develop transferrable life skills, while completing the requirements of the court-ordered community service requests.

“The program offers an opportunity for young people to reflect on the impacts of their offences, develop meaningful and positive relationships and learn new skills at the same time as promoting social responsibility,” said Minister Lensink.

“The CSO program provides every opportunity for young people to become the best versions of themselves, through participating in activities that meet their individual needs whilst making a positive contribution to the community.

“This may include working with charitable organisations to help vulnerable community members or assisting with landscaping and greening our environment.”

Minister Lensink said the South Australian Government was delivering on its commitment to collaborate with non-government organisations to strengthen assistance for young people, identified as a key deliverable in South Australia’s Youth Justice State Plan 2020-2023.

“SYC has extensive experience working with young people in the justice system and will bring a wider variety of programs and activities to the table for our young people to engage with,” said Minister Lensink.

SYC Executive Director Liz O’Connell said the organisation brings qualified and passionate staff with a proven history of successfully working with young people.

“We are proud to bring more than 30 years' experience working in the South Australian youth justice system to this new opportunity, which will help young offenders change their life trajectory and reduce re-offending,” she said.

“Under the CSO program, we will support each individual and their families to meet their community service requirements, while developing important skills for vocational preparation and employment.

“It is through our social programs that South Australian young people who are part of the CSO program are given the best opportunity to make a positive change in their lives.”

SYC will deliver the CSO program in metropolitan South Australia from February 2021.

For more information on Young People Connected, Communities Protected, South Australia’s Youth Justice State Plan 2020-2023, visit the DHS website at www.dhs.sa.gov.au.