The Youth Partnership Project: Practice learnings on providing the right support, to the right young people, at the right time to prevent youth offending

Ms Hannah Woodward1

1Save the Children, Australia

For the last seven years, the Youth Partnership Project has been changing the story of youth offending in the southeast corridor of Perth, Western Australia. With one in four young people entering Banksia Hill Detention Centre coming from this area, it was clear a better, proactive approach was needed.

As a strategic project, the YPP brings state government agencies, local government, and the not-for-profit community sector together to improve outcomes for young people at risk of offending.  Together, the YPP partners developed a new approach  focusing on early intervention  . It is premised  on the theory of getting the right  support, to the right young people, at the right time, to create significant savings in expenditure on statutory services and, more importantly, helping young people thrive in their communities.

Drawing on data from across the sector, the YPP Model specifically targets young people at risk of offending before any engagement with the justice system. Consistent positive relationships connect young people and their families with support they need to change young people’s trajectories. Partnerships with existing community services, and a resourced backbone organisation are fundamental elements to facilitate partnerships, strategy and evaluation.

The YPP Model has been piloted through two phases: the 2018 -2019 pilot focused  on identifying the right young people and providing support at the right time to enable meaningful change in their lives, and the 2019 -21 Pilot, focused on ensuring we had the right support in place for young people and their families.

This presentation will share key learnings gleaned from the YPP’s two pilot phases in the Armadale District, alongside implications for targeted prevention initiatives, and challenges and opportunities for securing sustainable long-term funding for similar approaches.


Hannah is a part of the West Australian Place-Based Strategy Team at Save the Children providing technical support to collective impact initiatives, which tackle wicked social problems through collaboration, systems change, and early intervention. Hannah is a Behavioural Scientist with a background in Social Justice and Education, and is a passionate advocate for sustainable development, gender equality and youth participation.


Dec 08 2021