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Youth Services Policy and Guide

West Tamar Council values its young people.

Because of this, Council is determined to ensure that young people are supported and connected to the community, whilst having a sense of drive and ambition for their future. Through the West Tamar Youth Advisory Council (YAC) and Council’s Youth Services Team, Council is committed to the ongoing provision of youth services that seek to improve youth health and well-being outcomes.

This policy has been prepared to act as a guide to Council’s youth services team, including any staff, external providers and councillors who work with young people in a Council framework. The document outlines the fundamental approach to working with young people whilst in a West Tamar Council responsibility.

Through implementing this policy, the West Tamar Council seeks to enhance its reputation as an organisation which takes its responsibilities to the wider community, especially vulnerable young people, seriously.

Council has been providing services to young people through the Youth Development Officer and subsequent team since the early 2000’s, providing essential services and support for young people in the West Tamar community.

The creation of the Youth Services Policy and Guide has been developed with feedback and reference to guiding documents provided by the Youth Network of Tasmania (YNOT), the UN Rights of a Child, and state government policies and state legislation such as mandatory reporting laws. The draft Youth Services Policy and Guide was first presented to Council’s Community Development Unit May 2022, then presented to Council Workshop June 2022 with amendments presented to Council’s Community Development Unit June 2022.

The policy was approved at Council's July meeting in 2022.

View Policy Here

Living with Covid-19

The risk of contracting COVID-19 in Tasmania through person to person transmission continues to increase, and the safety and well-being of staff, Councillors, volunteers and the community, is our top priority. Council’s Youth Program’s key strategies against COVID-19 and to assist families to stay healthy include:

  • Promoting personal hygiene and cough and sneeze etiquette
  • Additional cleaning (especially of frequently touched surfaces)
  • Encouraging physical distancing
  • Supporting staff and families to stay home if they are unwell
  • Supporting those who are more at risk of severe illness if they contract COVID-19
  • Looking after the psychological wellbeing of young people, their families and our team.
  • fever, runny nose, cough, sore/itchy throat or shortness of breath.

Cancelation of Youth Programs: Temporary shutdown of youth programs may occur when a confirmed case of COVID-19 is identified at a site resulting in shortage of staff. All participants booked in will be notified prior to the activity. Refunds can be arranged according to Council’s Terms and conditions.

Council will also monitor outbreak situations at nearby schools and consider pausing youth programs if the risk is deemed high.

Attending Council’s Youth Programs: Young People should not attend any of Council’s programs and activities if they feel unwell with cold or flu-like (or hay fever) symptoms.

Young People should stay home and you should phone your GP or the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 for a referral to be tested for COVID-19. Young People should only be returning to Council’s Youth Programs once their symptoms have passed and in accordance with Public Health advice. If your child has serious symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, call Triple Zero.

Mask Wearing: It is a recommendation that all young people over the age of 10 come prepared with a mask at all activities. Masks are recommended to be worn when indoors, in transit and when in close proximity of others. Masks are not required to be worn outdoors unless physical distancing of 1.5 metres cannot be maintained. Individuals are responsible for providing their own mask.

Close contact: Changes to the definition and requirements of close contacts are being made from 1 January 2022, in line with national changes. You will be considered a close contact if you have spent four hours or longer with a COVID-19 case in a household or household-like setting, and recommended to quarantine for seven days regardless of vaccination status and have a rapid antigen test (RAT) on days one and six.

Transport: All staff and young people are recommended to wear a mask whilst travelling in Council provided transport. All people must sanitise upon entry and exit of transport. All people are encouraged to sit in separate rows where possible.

Supporting References

UN Convention Rights of a Child

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by Australia, has particular relevance to youth work practice. Its four core principles are ‘non-discrimination’, ‘the best interests of the child’, ‘the right to life, survival and development’, and ‘respect for the views of the child’. Article 3.1 of the Convention prescribes that ‘in all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.’

View the UN Convention Rights of a Child here

Youth Ethics Framework for Tasmania

West Tamar Council recognizes the Youth Ethics Framework for Tasmania and requires the Youth Services Team to work within the stated principles as a standard of operation.

Click here to view the full code of ethics

Strong Families - Safe Kids

Strong Families, Safe Kids Advice & Referral Line is the first point of contact for child wellbeing and safety.
With a coordinated network of government and non-government support – and your help – we can deliver earlier intervention and better outcomes for at-risk children and their families.

Call the Strong Families, Safe Kids Advice & Referral Line on:
1800 000 123

Click here to visit their website

Reporting Concerns about the Safety and Wellbeing of Children and Young People

All adults in our community have a responsibility to look out for children and keep them safe. An important early step if you’re worried about a child is to contact the Advice and Referral Line.
A staff member will be available to talk through your concerns and explore what can be done to help.

Click here to visit their website

Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy

The Strategy is the first step towards thinking about a ‘wellbeing economy’ in Tasmania. Where the economic growth of our State, is intrinsically linked with the wellbeing of Tasmanians, underpinned by the support and initiatives to achieve this. This Strategy is Government’s continued response to providing children and young people with what they need to grow and thrive, but we know it takes more than just the efforts of government. It takes supportive and nurturing families and environments.

Click here to visit website

Registration to Work with Vulnerable People Act 2013

An Act to provide for background checking and registration of people who work with vulnerable people and for related purposes

Click here to visit website

West Tamar Youth Strategy

The fifth West Tamar Youth Strategy (2020-2022) has been developed to provide a relevant, forward thinking and responsive strategic framework, supporting Council’s vision ‘to create an inclusive community where people want to live, work and invest.’ (Strategic Plan 2018 – 2028 on Council’s website).

Click here to read Councils Youth Strategy