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Mon - Fri, 9am - 8pm
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Back to Publications
Date Posted Apr 29, 2014
Monographs and Reports

This report outlines key outcomes of the Youth Support Service provided by YSAS. The model delivers results, effectively breaking the cycle of recidivism. Strong engagement skills combined with systematic assessment and therapeutic case management ensure young people are accountable for their actions, make amends with their community and family and are kept out of police cells and courts.

Download report here

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Media Release
28th April, Melbourne, 2014

Youth diversion service proven to break cycle of crime

Melbourne, 28 April 2014: Keeping young people out of the criminal justice system and providing support through the police diversion initiative, the Youth Support Service, has had a proven impact on reducing youth crime, according to Youth Support + Advocacy Service (YSAS) research findings released today. 

YSAS is a service provider of the Youth Support Service in Metro Melbourne and the Latrobe Valley. The latest outcomes from both service areas revealed: 

  • 89%(i) of young people who completed the Youth Support Service did not enter the criminal justice system. They had no further, or only positive, contact with police. 
  • 38%(ii) of participants had serious involvement with the justice system prior to engaging with the Youth Support Service. This was reduced to 14% after service involvement. 
  • 55%(iii) of young people experienced family conflict ‘very often’ prior to accessing the Youth Support Service. This was significantly reduced to 18% by the end of service involvement. 
  • Young people engaged in education, employment or training increased from 38% to 78%iv at service completion. 

The Youth Support Service is the only early intervention service of its kind in the state, working with young people aged 10 -17 referred to the service by Victoria Police to address the underlying drivers of offending behaviour. The Youth Support Service is currently funded until 30 June 2014. 

“The Youth Support Service is a powerful and proven example of the Government, police and community organisations working together to reach at risk young people when they first offend, preventing escalation to the criminal justice system and crisis services,” said Paul Bird, CEO of YSAS. 

“YSAS has been able to support young people and their families at the earliest possible point of contact with the law. As a result, 89 per cent of young people we have worked with have not entered the criminal justice system. It’s a fantastic outcome for both the individuals involved and the wider community.” 

If the Youth Support Service does not continue beyond 30 June, YSAS is concerned there will be no early intervention response to youth crime for police, placing an increased strain on court and statutory systems, as well as crisis services through the resultant increased number of young offenders. For vulnerable young people, a lack of an early intervention service like the Youth Support Service creates another barrier to reaching the right support at the right time. 

“Young people with backgrounds of family violence, lack of education and substance misuse can currently connect with skilled Youth Support Service workers, who address individual needs based on evidence informed practice. Without this specialised support, in the justice system these young people could fall through the cracks. 

“The continuation of the successful Youth Support Service will allow YSAS and other providers to continue to work with young people, families, police and Government sustainably into the future,” said Mr. Bird. 

For further information on the Youth Support Service, visit 


Note to editors 
A full report on outcomes of the Youth Support Service provided by YSAS is available on request. 

To arrange an interview with Paul Bird, CEO of YSAS, please contact: 

Josh Comer
Marketing Manager
TEL +61 3 8412 8522

i History of contact with police 2 months post closure – n =141 young people 

ii History of contact with police 6 months before and at end of service involvement – n= 301 young people 

iii History of family conflict 6 months before and at end of service involvement – n= 301 young people 

iv History of education and employment 6 months before and at end of service involvement – n= 301 young people 

3,952 young people have been referred to the YSAS Youth Support Service between 28 April 2011 – 20 February 2014. YSAS provides a central intake function for metropolitan Melbourne with referrals for Moonee Valley, Maribyrnong and Hobsons Bay being triaged to the 20th Man Fund per contractual obligations with Department of Human Services. The Youth Support Service is funded by Department of Human Services as part of the Government’s Youth Crime Initiative. 


The Youth Support + Advocacy Service (YSAS) is a leading youth health agency that enables highly vulnerable young people with substance dependence and misuse issues, mental illness and social disconnection, to take control of their health and wellbeing. 

For further information visit
or contact the confidential 24 hour free YoDAA line: 1800 458 685. 

Download PDF

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A coping strategy is an method that helps you to get yourself out of a high-risk situation or cope successfully with the urge to use drugs.
Some useful strategies include:

  • Avoid or leave the situation (This strategy may be useful in the early stages of stopping or controlling drug use) 
  • Get rid of any drugs/alcohol in the house
  • Keep away from the people and places that you associate with drug use
  • Plan your day and keep yourself busy
  • Delay your decision to use drugs
  • Remember that cravings or urges come in waves and will pass
  • Remind yourself of the benefits of not using drugs
  • Consider the negative consequences of drug use
  • Distract yourself
  • Go to a movie
  • Read a magazine or book
  • Exercise
  • Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and visualisation
  • Talk it through
  • Talking to someone you trust can reduce feelings of anxiety, fear and vulnerability
  • Identify these people and let them know that you need their support
  • Utilise peer support services such as self-help meetings
  • Challenge and change your thoughts
  • Remember that you have a choice
  • “I won’t fix this problem by using drugs”
  • “This craving makes me feel bad, but it’s normal and I can deal with it without using drugs”
  • Remind yourself of the negative things about using drugs
  • Remind yourself of your successes so far
  • Keep a diary
  • Record and review your experiences
  • Reward yourself for making it through a high-risk situation
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Share your story

What do you do when you know you're fucked
Trying to save myself
Wishing things were different

What do you do when all you want to do is drugs
When its all you really know
Been around it far too long

What do you do when you can't change
When your scared of succeeding in life
When you don't believe you deserve better

What do you do when all you think about is drugs
Stay out for days on benders
Lie to family about what ya doing

Wide awake for days on end
Feeling lost and confused
Not knowing which way to go

Got something good going with tafe
It seems to be slipping out of my reach
Hoping I can keep this in my grip

Needing the support from a professional
Been asking for help
Not getting any sort of support

What do you do when you wanna give up
Starting to lose my mind and self
Needing someone to show me a better path

Getting your life in order can sometimes be overwhelming with so many things to organise. Below are some tips, advice and helpful contacts.

 * Remember you can always speak to your youth worker, school counsellor or social worker if you need assistance getting identification. 

Get a myki card
Get a myki card

A concession myki pass costs $3 and you can buy them from 7/11 stores and stores where you see the myki sign at train stations you can only buy full fare myki cards at train stations and they cost $6 with higher fares. 

To travel by public transport in Victoria your myki must have money on it, you can top up the money on your myki at 7/11 and stores with the myki sign, at train stations, on buses, and at select tram stops.

For information on public transport including timetables, maps and Myki info go to the Public Transport Victoria website
Get ID
Get ID

A Keypass is a valid photo ID card that’s widely recognised within Australia. For more information go to

Ph: 1300 304 614

Forms are available at police stations in Victoria or online

Key Pass application form
Get a bank account
Get a bank account

You can apply for a bank account at any bank you choose, just go into the bank and ask to open an account. You’ll need to provide 100 points of ID - you can use school reports, a birth certificate, keypass, passport, Medicare card or license. Ask the bank which forms of ID they’ll accept. You may also need to have an address; some youth services that you’re involved with may let you use theirs. If you’re under 16 years of age you will need a parent or guardian to go with you

Get a tax file number
Get a tax file number

A tax file number is a personal reference number in the Australian tax and superannuation systems. It is necessary to have a tax file number before starting most jobs. 

You can get an application from Centrelink offices, the Australian Taxation Office or online.

Once completed, print it and take it to your local Australia Post outlet so that they can confirm your identity documents. The documents you will need will be listed on the form. The website provides all you need to know including your local Australia Post outlets.  

Australian Taxation Office
Collins Square, 747 Collins St,
Docklands, VIC 3008
Ph: 13 28 61

Apply for a tax file number
Get a health care card
Get a health care card

You can apply for a healthcare card if you are 16 years old and live away from home or if you live at home and earn less than $315 per week. Apply for one at your local Centrelink office (See local Centrelink locations for your nearest office).
If you work you will need to provide 8 weeks worth of pay slips. If you need to supply an address, some youth services that you’re involved with may let you use theirs.

More information
Get a copy of your birth certificate
Get a copy of your birth certificate

Visit the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages:

595 Collins St, Melbourne, VIC 3000
(Near Southern Cross Station)
8.30am – 4.30pm Monday to Friday
Or online at

You’ll need 3 forms of identification, one with your photo and signature, one with your address and either a bankcard, Medicare card or student card.

More information
Register to vote
Register to vote

It’s the law in Australia that you are enrolled to vote if you are an Australian citizen and over 18.
To register either get a form from your local Australia Post or go to 

Enroll to vote

Gumtree is an easy-to-use website that you can search and find almost anything such as accommodation, employment, meeting new people and buying/selling products. 

Gumtree may be especially helpful for finding cheap or free furniture.
Get a No Interest Loan Scheme (NiLS)
Get a No Interest Loan Scheme (NiLS)

NiLS is a community-based program that offers applicants up to $1,200 for essential household goods and services. 

Ground Floor, 192 – 198 High St
Northcote, VIC 3070
Ph: 9495 9600 

Find out more
Back to Articles

Sleep is vital for physical and emotional well-being. It helps repair your body, keeps your heart healthy, reduces stress, improves your memory, helps control body weight, reduces your chance of diabetes and reduces the occurrence of mood disorders. Some tips for a good night’s sleep:

  • Have a relaxing bath or shower before bed
  • Try to stick to a routine, going to bed at around the same time every night, and wake up at around the same time every day
  • Exercise during the day, it may make you more tired at night
  • Avoid using technology such as computers or TV just before bed
  • Reading a book is a great alternative to watching TV
  • Avoid napping during the day, you’ll be less tired at night
  • Avoid caffeine at night, try relaxing teas such as chamomile instead
  • Don’t go to bed hungry, or needing to use the toilet        
  • Try not to smoke cigarettes just before bed         
  • Remove distractions from your bedroom, keep it quiet and dark
  • If you have a lot on your mind and it’s keeping you up, try to sort through it by writing it in a diary or calling a friend
  • If you’ve been feeling down for a while, it might be best to talk to a doctor, counsellor, friend or family.

If none of the above works and you need more help call YoDAA on 1800 458 685 for advice on what else you can do.


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