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Young people who transition from youth detention to the community may encounter difficulties related to their family relationships, mental and physical wellbeing, education, and employment. How to best to support young people once they leave youth detention has been left relatively unexplored—particularly in regard to the way that young people are approached and assisted to access support. This paper reports on an 18-month qualitative study carried out in Canberra, Australia, with a group of young people who had been in juvenile detention. Hearing from young people directly, the paper reports on what these young people said they needed to make positive changes and effectively transition back into the outside world. The young people who participated in this study recognised that they require assistance to sustain and develop relationships; to maintain links with critical institutions such as work, school, and informal support; to resolve the effects of detention; and to access support to live successfully in the community. Hearing from young people directly is an essential component of designing and implementing more effective responses to young people leaving youth detention.


Institute of Child Protection Studies

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Journal Article

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