MANY of the clients Ballarat’s youth intervention workers see are totally disengaged.
Their lives may have been impacted by family violence, drugs and alcohol or lack of stability. Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-operative (BADAC) Koori Justice Program co-ordinator David Carter also sees the impacts of inter-generational discrimination and racism.
BADAC supports Youth Justice referrals by linking clients in with appropriate services – in an attempt to reengage youth and reduce their risk of re-offending.
Chief Karen Heap says BADACs role is far greater than just a support in court role. BADAC develops case plans with prevention as the main objective.
It also focuses on supporting and reconnecting young offenders with the Aboriginal community.
The ultimate goal is to break the cycle of offending and re-offending.
“Many of our clients have a number of socio-economic issues to deal with as well as the impact of transgenerational trauma,” Ms Heap said.
“BADAC has programs that support people with substance abuse, social and emotional wellbeing and family violence issues.”
The Koori youth justice workers collaborate with young offenders and their families to ensure they are linked with the support services they need.
“(We) work together with the team to support and empower them,” Ms Heap said.
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