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Largest Youth Justice Residence Opens In Manukau

Child, Youth And Family Opens Country’s Largest Youth Justice Residence Adding 15 New Beds

Child, Youth and Family Minister Ruth Dyson officially opened the country’s largest youth justice residence today (30th January) in Manukau, South Auckland. The construction of Child, Youth and Family’s Youth Justice North Residential Centre adds 15 new beds, helping to address the national shortage of youth justice beds.

Speaking at the ceremony, Ms Dyson said: “The government is concerned that a shortage of beds in youth justice facilities has meant an unacceptably high number of young people spend time in police custody. The new residence will help address this concern.”

Shannon Pakura, Child, Youth and Family’s Acting General Manager, Social Work Operations said: “Some of the young people who will be placed in this residence have committed serious offences. They will participate in social and educational programmes that address the behaviours that led to their offending. The programmes will help them to develop life skills that move them towards positive outcomes.”

Angie Simpson, Residence Manager, Youth Justice North said: “This new residence follows international best practice by adopting a therapeutic model for young people in youth justice care. I believe this residence strikes the right balance between providing them with a secure environment and at the same time offering programmes for their successful reintegration into the community.”

Manukau mayor Sir Barry Curtis also welcomed the facility, stating he believed it would “provide accommodation closer to home for many young people at risk, making visiting easier for family, friends and caregivers.”

Youth Justice North was planned under Child, Youth and Family’s 1996 Residential Services Strategy (RSS). The Strategy adopts a new approach in the provision of residential care, one critical element being the separation of youth justice and care and protection units onto different sites.

The Residential Services Strategy is also marked by a significant shift towards a therapeutic type of environment for new residences, following international best practice. The physical environment at Youth Justice North is based on a campus design, with small residential units where staff can work with smaller groups of young people.

Youth Justice North is the sixth Child, Youth and Family residential facility for children and young people in the country. The others are located at Palmerston North (youth justice), Lower Hutt, Dunedin and Manurewa, Auckland (care and protection) and Christchurch (both youth justice and care and protection).

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