Co-ordination models


6.2 Many bodies, including the DEETYA Youth Bureau, various taskforces and campaigns and State and Territory bodies seek to co-ordinate policies and programs for children and young people. None achieves this goal comprehensively. Certain of these important existing agencies are considered here.

DEETYA Youth Bureau

6.3 The Youth Bureau within DEETYA undertakes policy monitoring, research and program delivery to

    • help to ensure that the Government’s policies meet the needs of young people

    • provide leadership in research and analysis on youth issues

    • facilitate communication between young people and the Government and

    • design and manage services and programs to maximise young people’s participation in the Australian community.[1]

6.4 The Bureau undertakes a substantial amount of work in program administration and service delivery, with much of the focus being placed on education and employment-related issues. The Bureau is concerned with young people aged between 12 and 25, only some of whom are children.

MCEETYA Youth Taskforce

6.5 This Taskforce comprises Education and Employment Ministers from all federal, State and Territory Governments. The Taskforce identifies priority issues, undertakes research through the NYARS and develops policy and strategies to implement these policies. The Taskforce held two meetings during 1995–96 and submitted a report and forward plan to the July 1996 meeting of MCEETYA.[2] Again, its focus is young people rather than children.

Youth Homelessness Taskforce

6.6 This Taskforce has an $8 million budget for a 2 year program.[3] It administers the Youth Homelessness Pilot Program and is responsible for establishing and monitoring various projects under that Program. It conducts ‘good practice forums’ based on these projects. The Taskforce is due to provide advice to the Prime Minister on the program by October 1998.

Youth Suicide Working Group

6.7 The Youth Suicide Working Group consists of several federal departments, including the Department of Health and Family Services, DEETYA, the Attorney-General’s Department, DSS and ATSIC. A Youth Suicide Prevention Advisory Group was also established in 1992 to provide advice to the Department of Health and Family Services in relation to the funding of projects. The Advisory Group consists of specialist researchers, academics and professionals with expertise in the area of youth suicide.[4]

6.8 The activities of the Working Group and Advisory Group are focused on the National Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy, a $31 million initiative to provide a co-ordinated approach to youth suicide prevention.[5] The Strategy is administered and co-ordinated by the Department of Health and Family Services, with advice from the Youth Suicide Prevention Advisory Group. In the 1995–96 Budget, $13 million was allocated over four years to develop, trial and evaluate implementation of best practice in service delivery to young people at high risk of suicide and to improve information sharing and data collection systems.[6] A further $18 million was allocated to the Strategy in the 1996–97 Budget for counselling and telephone support services, research, education and training for professionals.[7] As the projects have now commenced operation, the working group has not met in over a year. However, the Advisory Group continues to assist the Department of Health and Family Services.[8]


6.9 This 3-year, $13 million campaign was launched on 5 June 1997 to develop partnerships with States and Territories through the Lead Minister’s National Anti-Crime Strategy Group, with other federal agencies through an Inter-Departmental Working Group and with institutions and research organisations, peak non-government organisations and the corporate sector.

6.10 The campaign is undertaking a number of national crime prevention projects on a range of issues, including youth crime prevention. The campaign is examining issues relating to homeless youth, young people’s use of public space and early intervention strategies.[9] The projects consist of evaluation and implementation strategies.[10]

6.11 The campaign is co-ordinated by a unit located in the Attorney-General’s Department. It co-ordinates the research and demonstration projects, liaises with relevant organisations and develops community education and training programs.[11]

NSW Office for Children and Young People

6.12 The NSW Office for Children and Young People was established in April 1997 to facilitate the co-ordination and planning of government policy relating to children and young people. It also provides advice to the Premier, liaises with organisations representing children, gathers and exchanges information and provides a secretariat function to the Premier’s advisory bodies concerned with children and young people.[12]

[1] DEETYA Draft Youth Bureau Business Plan DEETYACanberraMay 1997, 4.

[2] DEETYA Annual Report 1995–96 AGPS Canberra 1996, 160, 175–6.

[3] Dept of Health & Family Services Youth Homelessness Pilot Program Information Sheet 24 June 1997.

[4] Dept of Health & Family Services Youth Suicide in Australia: The National Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy AGPS Canberra 1997, 17, 31–34.

[5] id 3-4.

[6] id 3.

[7] ibid.

[8] Personal communication Dept of Health & Family Services 12 September 1997.

[9] NCAVAC Unit Young People and Crime — General Fact Sheet No 6 Attorney-General’s Dept Canberra 1997.

[10] eg the Homeless Youth Project. See para 9.52.

[11] NCAVAC Unit NCAVAC Brochure Attorney-General’s Dept Canberra 1997.

[12] NSW Cabinet Office Information Brochure: Office of Children and Young People 1997. See also NSW Cabinet Office Corporate Document: Office of Children and Young People as cited in Wood Royal Commission Final Report Vol IV: The Paedophile Inquiry NSW Government Sydney 1997, 899.