He waka eke noa
A canoe which we are all in with no exception
Nau mai, haere mai and welcome to the Youth Forensics Workforce Development Project
The Youth Forensics Project at Whāraurau is dedicated to nurturing the skills and knowledge of kaimahi who are engaging with taiohi at risk of involvement with youth justice, forensic , mental health and AOD services.
Collectively both He Ara Oranga : Report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction (2018) and Kia Manawanui Aotearoa: Long-term pathway to mental wellbeing (2019) confirmed the significance of workforce development, wherein a competent workforce is understood as crucial for accomplishing the objectives related to preventing mental health and addiction issues and averting escalation due to unmet needs.
Data suggests that, in most instances, rangatahi involved with youth forensic services have previously engaged with multiple services, including mental health, AOD, care and protection, youth justice, and broader social services. This highlights the critical need to prioritise workforce development opportunities for kaimahi across various services.
The prevalence of neurodevelopmental differences, foetal alcohol spectrum disorder, and exposure to trauma in the youth offender population in Aotearoa is under-researched. Despite this gap in research, anecdotal evidence suggests that these factors, are significantly over-represented in rangatahi involved with youth justice and youth forensic services. Consistent with overseas research, this combination of factors likely affects 60-90% of young offenders. Moreover, it is associated with an elevated risk of substance misuse and mental health issues.
A workforce that is empowered with the knowledge and the tools to address these intersecting factors early on, through appropriate interventions, support systems, and therapeutic approaches is seen as crucial in mitigating risk and promoting improved outcomes for these young people and their whanau.
Real skills plus
The Youth Forensics Workforce Development Project encourages and supports individuals and organisations working in the sector to undertake Real Skills Plus online assessment (available here)
RSP identifies areas of strength and areas for professional development , complementing and adding to existing frameworks of practice relevant to the sector.
Please contact us here if you are an individual or an organisation who would like to explore further how RSP can support professional development
Professional development opportunities, resources, and research
Browse the tiles below for research, resources and professional development opportunities aimed at enhancing professional growth and emphasizing the immense value of your mahi
Youth forensics project events
- Greymouth Walking alongside at-risk rangatahi: Harnessing the potential for change with focus on Motivational interviewing skills for ultra–brief interventions 14-15 March 2024
- Gisborne Walking alongside at-risk rangatahi: Harnessing the potential for change with focus on Motivational interviewing skills for ultra–brief intervention 15-16 May 2024
- Otago National Youth Forensics forum 2024 14 June 2024
Youth justice resources and reports
- Youth Justice Indicators Summary
- Rangatahi Māori and Youth Justice
- State of Care: Children with Offending Behaviour
- Changing the lives of children with offending behaviour media release
- It’s never too early, never too late
- Kaupapa Māori approaches to youth offending
FASD, neurodiversity e-learning, resources and reports
- FASDCAN Information for professionals
- Neurodisability in the Youth Justice System in New Zealand
- Brain and Behaviour in relation to the justice system in New Zealand
- FASD and the justice system
- Taking Action on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
- FASDHUB Australia Learning Hub
- Understanding FASD
- Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD): Essential strategies A resource for frontline professionals