Sally* was sixteen when she came to the Youth Advocacy Centre. She was born interstate and taken into care due to her parents’ inability to care for her. Sally’s foster carers moved with Sally to Brisbane when she was young, partly to assist with a medical condition which Sally had. Child Safety authorities in the original state did not agree to the move but her biological parents consented as they believed it would be in Sally’s best interests for her to be in a warmer climate.
Both the biological parents subsequently died and her older brother moved interstate. Conflict developed between Sally and her foster family and she moved out of the home to live with friends. During this time Sally started getting into trouble and were charged with some property offences.
One-night Sally was with her friend, Laura*, who asked another young person to give Laura the shoes they were wearing. Sally did not threaten the person - but did tell them not to cry. She and Laura were subsequently charged with robbery with violence and Sally was put into custody.
Sally’s foster parents were contacted, and they agreed to have Sally return home if they had some additional support. A conditional bail program was put in place and a referral was made to the Youth Advocacy Centre’s Bail and Order Support Service which assisted Sally to return to an alternative learning program in which she had previously been enrolled and also provided some positive recreational opportunities for her free time.
Sally returned home and attended school every day. She was selected to participate in a training program that could result in her finding employment. The Youth Advocacy Centre made a successful submission to have the charge amended to one that more accurately reflected Sally’s role in the stealing of the shoes and her matter was able to be finalised by a Magistrate rather than a Judge. Due to Sally’s excellent school attendance and no further offending she received an unsupervised order for her charges.
(*not their real name)