Jesuit Social Service’s #WorthASecondChance campaign is working to improve the Youth Justice system by engaging the community and calling for programs that work to get young people back on track.
While it is often a divisive issue, the campaign has proven there are many members of the community who want to have an informed discussion about these complex issues. The campaign has seen a massive spike in supporters over the past month.
One issue that has gained a lot of attention recently is the need to raise the age of legal responsibility in Australia. Right now, a child aged 10 can be charged and locked up. Jesuit Social Services has been campaigning for more than seven years to see this age raised and many other organisations and individuals have worked tirelessly to put this on the national agenda.
We were so pleased to finally see progress recently when the ACT became the first State or Territory across the country to put in motion plans to raise the age to 14 years old.
Supporters of the #WorthASecondChance campaign have contributed to this success by sending close to 900 letters to Members of Parliament calling for them to support raising the age of legal responsibility. Our campaign supporters also shared our social media content with their own networks and encouraged friends and family to do the same.
Campaigning on this important issue has been challenging in the COVID-19 environment but the team has been adept in finding new ways to build community support and reach people interested in these issues.
Campaign Manager, Jess Sanders appeared on a popular youth work podcast Ultimate Youth Worker, where she was given the opportunity to talk about the #RaiseTheAge campaign.
Recently the #WorthASecondChance campaign hosted a webinar on trauma-informed practice for educators and youth workers. Panellists Nick Grainger (Trauma Consultant, Australian Childhood Trauma Group), Gaya Jambulingam (Coordinator of our Navigator Program in Brimbank-Melton) and Louise Mapleston (Schools Program Coordinator, South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault and Family Violence), brought diverse perspectives on identifying and responding to trauma, building relationships, accessing support and understanding the importance of being able to work in a trauma informed way with young people.
There were just under 200 guests in attendance and all remained engaged throughout the 75-minute session with lots of questions and comments to the panellists and to each other.
If you would like to find out more about #WorthASecondChance, head to www.worthasecondchance.com.au or find us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to sign up and lend your voice to this important issue.