Youth Diversion Program


By Legislation: Part 3 of the Northern Territory Youth Justice Act provision for the Diversion of the Youth

In Practice: Is a joint collaboration between the Northern Territory Youth Diversion Unit and the YWCA Youth Diversion Program

The youth: The program is an opportunity for the youth to take responsibility and accountability for their choices and actions

Youth Diversion is an early intervention program that provides case management to young people whose choices and behaviour have caused involvement with the justice system

It is aimed at diverting young people (10-18 years of age) from the formal justice system, by creating opportunities to make change.

When a young person is successful in completing the program, they avoid going to court and receiving a criminal record. 


The diversion process has four participating members:

  • The young person who has committed an offence
  • Their Nominated Responsible Adult (RA)
  • The YWCA Darwin Case Manger
  • The NT Police Youth Diversion Unit officer


Referrals of young people ages between 10- 18 years come directly from the Northern Territory Police Diversion Unit or Court. There are no other avenues for Referral. Under the NT Youth Justice Act (February 2012) all young people who have been involved in offending behaviour should be offered the opportunity of Youth Diversion. It is the Youth Diversion Police who decide if they are sent to YWCA Darwin for assessment of suitability.


In Restorative Justice, an offence is defined as the harm that is done to a person or the community. Restorative justice creates the opportunity for the young person to focus on solving any issues and repairing harm they have caused.

Restorative justice is “a system of criminal justice which focuses on the rehabilitation of offenders through reconciliation with victims and the community at large.” Restorative justice creates the opportunity for the young person to identify their wrong doing and encourages the young person to take responsibility for their actions and the harm caused.

YWCA Youth Diversion Program Model of Restorative justice follows the Following Key Values:

  1. Creating opportunities for victims, offenders and community members who want to do so to meet and discuss what went wrong.
  2. Expectation for the young person to take steps to repair the harm they have caused
  3. Aims to restore victims and offenders to whole, contributing members of community.
  4. Provide opportunities for young people involved in crime to participate in its resolution.

In the YWCA Darwin Youth Diversion Program, Restorative Practice is demonstrated through the approach to working with young people, their families. For example, the types of questions asked, using a ‘strengths based’ approach during assessments and case work. It is client-led, with a focus on future outcomes and strengths that people bring to a problem or crisis.

The Program has been successful with a majority of clients successfully completing diversion. There have been cases of excellent results where clients have gained apprenticeships or employment.

For more information, contact us at: 

Download the brochure here.
P: 8920 6700
Freecall: 1800 280 588


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