Queensland Youth Transition to Success

Published Thursday, 13 July, 2017 at 12:01 PM

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills
The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

Building a recording studio and new drought-proof gardens are just two of the many achievements of 20 young people graduating from Youth Justice Queensland’s Transition to Success (T2S) program at Forest Lake today.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath said today’s graduates were the tenth group of vulnerable youths to successfully complete the program.

“T2S helps young people get back to school, into further education or into jobs with the ultimate goal of preventing re-offending,” Mrs D’Ath said.

“More than 80 percent of young people in the youth justice system reoffend after 12 months. For T2S graduates, that figure is greatly improved with more than two-thirds not reoffending within 12 months.”

Mrs D’Ath said 70 young people had now graduated from 10 T2S programs, gaining over 100 certificates between them.

“The community will reap the benefits of the changes these young people have made in their lives,” she said.

T2S Coordinator at Western Districts Youth Justice Service Centre Cecilia Stevens said therapeutic support was one of the main reasons T2S was so successful.

“We understand that many of the young people in contact with youth justice have experienced significant trauma in their lives,” Ms Stevens said.

“This means they can have difficult behaviours so they fall behind at school and have sometimes been drawn into problems with the law.

“With the T2S program the young people develop strong relationships with both the team and the other young people. They learn real-world skills while working on projects like the recording studio and the gardens.

“Along the way they start resolving their trauma through programs such as music therapy, improve their literacy and numeracy, and gain certificates in construction, rural operations and landscaping. This all opens the door for them to get back to school, into further training, or into a job.”

Ms Stevens said the recording studio project had given the young people the opportunity to record the songs they wrote as part of the music therapy provided to them in partnership with the Salvation Army.

“The young people also worked under the supervision of TAFE instructors to build retaining walls and new drought-resistant gardens at the Salvation Army premises,” she said.

“We have a 98 per cent attendance rate at the program, which is amazing. There has also been a real positive shift in the way young people see themselves, in their relationships with their families, and the way the community sees them,” Ms Stevens said.

“Every day we have parents telling us how much their family has changed because their child has been in T2S.

“One mother told me how her son has reduced his substance use, is studying for Certificates 3 and 4, and has been promised a traineeship when he completes his studies.

“His success has encouraged the family to connect to support services as well, so the whole family is becoming stronger every day.”

For more information on T2S, please visit www.justice.qld.gov.au/t2s

 Media contact:  0417 675 917