The Embedded Youth Outreach Program – An innovative Victoria Police led collaborative response to youth offending

Ms Katherine Danylak1, Commander Tim Hansen1, Anne Sophie Pichler2

1Victoria Police, Melbourne, Australia, 2Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science, Swinburne University, Melbourne, Australia

Victoria Police is trialling the Embedded Youth Outreach Program (EYOP) – an ambitious and  targeted approach aimed at reducing youth offending across two Melbourne metropolitan trial sites (west and south east).

The EYOP is a collaborative initiative which sees a police officer paired with a youth worker operating outside of business hours, to reflect the time of day when young people are most likely to be at risk of offending or victimisation. The pilot project aims to reduce long-term involvement in the criminal justice system by engaging with the young person and their family, assessing their needs and referring them to youth-specific supports.

The project is being concurrently evaluated by the research team led by Professor James Ogloff from the Centre for Forensic Behavioural at Science Swinburne University. Early  findings are suggesting that this very unique model has opened opportunities for engagement and service linkage that would not be available with police members responding alone. The evaluation is utilising quantitative and qualitative methods to assess the EYOP.  This provides an opportunity to build an evidence base and strengthen the existing model by making evidence based iterative changes.

This presentation will summarise the findings from the evaluation of the first year of service delivery, explore the EYOP incubation process during the design phase, analyse the current partnership between frontline police and youth workers, and identify challenges and opportunities which have emerged over the course of the past 12 months.


Biography:

Katherine Danylak

Embedded Youth Outreach Project (EYOP), Victoria Police 

Katherine has a background in education and public policy and has been working in the government sector on the design and delivery of initiatives aimed at increasing social inclusion and reducing disadvantage. Prior to working with Victoria Police, Katherine was the Social Participation Manager at AMES Australia.  Katherine currently manages the EYOP pilot, an innovative partnership between police and youth workers designed to reduce youth offending. The Centre for Forensic and Behavioural Science, at Swinburne University is evaluating the intervention.

Anne Sophie Pichler

Centre for Forensic and Behavioural Science, Swinburne University 

Anne Sophie is a post-doctoral research fellow with a background in psychology and law. She recently completed her PhD in child witness interviewing at Deakin University, Australia. During this time she also worked as a researcher for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Her research interests include youth justice, child protection, child abuse trials and evidence, and family violence.

 

Australia & New Zealand Society of Evidence Based Policing

The Australia & New Zealand Society of Evidence Based Policing (ANZSEBP) was formed in April 2013 in Brisbane, Australia. The ANZSEBP is a police practitioner-led Society. The mission of the ANZSEBP is to develop, disseminate and advocate for police to use scientific research (“the evidence”) to guide best practice in all aspects of policing. The ANZSEBP Chairperson serves on the Executive Board of the British Society of Evidence Based Policing, ensuring that the ANZSEBP works cooperatively with an international group of police to advance evidence based policing.

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