The Intensive Diversion Program (IDP) works with young people aged 12-16 years who are at high risk of offending behaviour, and are engaged with either Child & Youth Protection Services, ACT Policing, or ACT Children’s Court. The program combines a mix of skills-based recreational activities, educational programming and/or vocational pathways, intensive case coordination between Canberra PCYC, ACT Policing & CYPS, and links into team sports and interest groups. It has evolved significantly over the past year through the introduction of daily tutors, who are delivering a new approach to educating young people who have disengaged with mainstream education. IDP takes a hands on approach, with visual stimulation and impact. It includes a suite of programs to compliment the educational component which showcase positive behaviours and outcomes that can be achieved. The team is constantly working on ways to better engage young people, by looking at concerns the young people raise and bringing in weekly social workers with a broad range of expertise.
The program has brought in guest speakers from Defence, Australian Federal Police, and businesses across the ACT to talk about job opportunities, and participants are taught a range of practical skills. As a result of the program’s support, a number of young people have re-entered education systems and have displayed increasingly positive attitudes towards community and work. Also crucial to the IDP’s success has been the post-program initiative of case management support, which ensures the young people have the vital support that they require in order to be able to become independent. Furthermore, including the families of the young people into the program has enabled greater familial support to the young people when they have completed the program.
Partners who have contributed to the success of this program include ACT Policing and Child & Youth Protection Services.