The largest supported bail service in the country, Reconnect Supported Bail is a programme for 12-17 year old young people who have appeared in Youth Court. Subject to Court orders, the programme drives and supports youth to comply with their bail conditions and minimise potential risks to the community, whilst nurturing and assisting whanau to promote a positive future at home.
The six week (with some flexibility) programme provides intensive community-based support and services that aims to:
- Assist young people to comply with bail conditions during the remand period.
- Assist family/whanau to ensure they can support and supervise their young person.
- Minimise potential risks to the community by reducing offending behaviour.
The programme is a community-based alternative for children and young people who would otherwise be detained or remain in Oranga Tamariki (OT) Youth Justice residences. Supported Bail staff will support the young person through Youth, Rangatahi, Pacifika and District Court processes.
A whanau support worker is assigned to work with the family for the duration of the programme to strengthen whanau responses to offending behaviour.
How do young people get placed on the programme?
Referrals from OT site Youth Justice teams are referred to a MSD ‘Hub’ Regional Coordinator who manages the referral process and is a key liaison point for Reconnect Supported Bail.
What are the reporting requirements from the programme to the referrer?
Weekly reports are emailed to OT and at times, various other stakeholders who may include the Youth Aid officer, Judges, Youth Advocate. A discharge report is developed at the end of the placement.
Should an incident occur while on the programme, the situation will be managed and a report provided to OT.
How long does the programme go for and what is the discharge process?
Reconnect Supported Bail is a six-week programme, where the young person is picked up and returned to their bail address. Hours are from 9.00am to 4.00pm Monday to Friday.
When a young person completed the programme a graduation is held to acknowledge their achievement. Stakeholders are encouraged to attend.
If deemed appropriate the programme may be extended to assist with an individual’s positive transitional period for an additional agreed time.
This is done in consultation with the relevant OT site.
Who can be placed on the programme?
The programme is for young offenders (12-18 years) and entry is through discretion of the Youth Court. Relevant legislation is S238(1) (b) of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989, although there may be other active orders as well. Referrals come from across the Auckland region but Reconnect will consider out of region referrals.
What does a young person do on the programme?
Once a referral is accepted, the young person is partnered with a Youth Worker. An individual plan is developed with the young person, family, and referring OT site.
The content of the placement includes:
- Pro-social activities, including cultural learning/activities, participating in environmental projects, creative projects, sports and recreation.
- Support to return to education, courses or where applicable, employment
- Attending scheduled appointments organised by OT, e.g. Counselling.
- Completion of FGC plans or court orders.
- Attending Youth, Marae or Pacifica Court.
- Weekly update meetings with Oranga Tamariki.
- Professional support for/whanau engagement.
- Addressing physical and emotional, health and wellbeing of the young people.
What are the outcomes sought by the Reconnect Supported Bail programme?
Reconnect Supported Bail Services will deliver the following results for young people:
- Assist and engage young people to successfully comply with their bail conditions.
- Reduce the risk of re-offending during the remand period.
- Successful transition to educational or vocational services.
- Encourage family/whanau relationships, and participation in cultural and other pro-social activities.
- Mandatory assessments and pre-existing appointments are attended by the young person.
- Assist families/whanau to address issues that impact on the young person’s offending.
- Reduce the number of young people who breach bail or re-offend.
- Gather and contribute information to the young person’s Family Group Conference (FGC).