Supporting The Youth
This service supports young people in their interaction with the criminal justice system.
In 2003 Illawarra Legal Centre’s (ILC’s) CCAS service was established at Port Kemla Court House to support young people with their interaction with the criminal justice system.
We have a roster of committed seconded workers acting as CCAS workers, providing support and guidance to young people, assisting them to feel comfortable in a new and sometimes overwhelming setting. Today the CCAS program operates every Tuesday at Port Kembla Children’s Court.
How We Can Help
CCAS workers are not involved in the legal proceedings of the court, so they are able to act independently and in the best interests of the young person.
The CCAS program provides the following services and assistance:
- Support to young people and their families
- Information about the court processes
- Help to fill out Legal Aid application forms
- Providing assistance to young people to link with their solicitors and other support workers
- Referral to welfare services and community organisations; such as drug and alcohol programs, counselling, education and accommodation
Tips For Going To Children’s Court:
If you are under 18 you are entitled to free legal assistance from Legal Aid or the Aboriginal Legal Service (ALS).
Bring all your court or police paperwork with you to Children’s Court.
Wear clean neat clothes and don’t wear caps, sunglasses, or beanies into the courtroom.
It is really good to have your parents or some other responsible person with you at Children’s Court.
It can take a long time before you go into court so bring lunch, something to read and what you may need for a day at court.
Your case may not be finalised on the day and you may have to return so remember you have to get your new court date.
You are legally required to attend your hearing at Children’s Court, unless your solicitor tells you you have been excused.
Other Helpful Tips
Always get legal advice before taking part in a police interview or giving a formal statement. You can ask to call the Legal Aid Youth Hotline on 1800 101 810(it is a free call).
The Hotline provides legal advice and information to young people under 18, and operates 9am to midnight weekdays, with a 24-hour service from Friday 9am to Sunday midnight and also on public holidays.
Heads Up Program (Available For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People)
Alcohol and drugs contribute to a lot of cases before Court. There is now a program to benefit young people appearing at Court.
The program goes for 8 weeks and any work you do whilst in the program may be credited to you if/when you are sentenced by the Court.