Model policies on working with young people [2004]

For non-residential youth services in NSW.


All new policies, updates and corrections are listed here.
Social media: 29 September 2011: Social Media Policy Guide now available.
Child protection: 11 August 2011: Replacement Child Protection policy linked below.


Contents list

Part 1: How to use these policies; Activities & services (PDF) 

  • Drop-in & use of centre facilities
  • Young people's use of computers
  • Street work
  • Holding mail for young people
  • Excursions and camps 

Part 2: Casework (PDF) 

  • Casework essentials
  • Getting new clients
  • Information, advocacy, referral, and ongoing casework
  • Casework safety
  • Caseload and supervision
  • Casework files 

Part 3: Rights and responsibilities (PDF)

  • Young people's rights to their personal information
  • Keeping and destroying records
  • Code of conduct for staff
  • Complaints
  • Rules and consequences

Part 4: Inclusiveness (PDF)

  • Developing an inclusive youth service
  • Expression of religion, culture and lifestyle
  • Eliminating harassment, vilification and excluding behaviour

Part 5: Privacy and confidentiality (PDF)

  • Privacy essentials
  • Collecting personal information
  • Privacy statement & privacy consent form
  • Using personal information within the team
  • Security of personal information
  • Disclosing personal information with consent
  • Disclosing personal information without consent

Part 6: Child protection

Part 7: Safety (PDF)

  • Duty of care statement
  • Individual risk assessment about a young person
  • Report risks and serious incidents to the Manager
  • Medications and medical treatment
  • Vehicles
  • Home visits
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol and illegal drugs
  • Crime and police
  • Suicide
  • Non-violence
  • Critical incident response


About the model policies

These model policies are designed for generalist non-residential youth services in NSW. They reflect the requirements of:

  • NSW and Commonwealth law (as at 2004) (as far as we reasonably know - read the fine print below*)
  • NSW Department of Community Services (CSGP) Service Agreement 2004-2005
  • NSW Department of Community Services (CSGP) Service Standards 2004 draft
  • Commonwealth Department of Family and Community Services Youth Program Guidelines for JPET, YAS/FLW and Reconnect (draft June 2004)
  • as well as incorporating common practices in the NSW youth sector.


Published 2004.

Be careful! The model policies are for agencies to adapt to suit their circumstances. We have done the best we can within our resources, but it is not possible to write a single policy which meets the requirements of the wide range of youth services in NSW.

They are not standards. They are not intended to set a standard in the non-residential youth work sector, or to create uniformity among youth services. The rich variety of activities, approaches and styles among youth services and youth workers is one of the strengths of youth work in NSW.

Implementing these policies as they are, will not bring about effective and inspiring youth work. At the very least you need to add some policy material of your own, reflecting the goals, ideals and practices of your agency.

But policies and procedures by themselves do not lead to great youth work. Policies by their nature are usually dull and uninspiring. They tend to focus on narrow legal and safety issues. They tell you more about what you must do and must not do, than about what you can do, or might achieve. These model policies are no exception!

To bring about effective and inspiring youth work you need much more than good policies: you also need to train, resource, support, nurture and believe in your staff! See fact sheet on Developing your agency policies.


* To the best of our knowledge this is an accurate summary of the relevant facts at the time of publishing, without the assumption of a duty of care. We have no health, occupational health and safety, or legal qualifications, unless stated above. This information is general and should not be relied on as a substitute for legal or other professional advice. You should refer to any publications and authorities listed above and if necessary get qualified advice for your specific situation.

We have attempted to include all the relevant legal requirements as at 2004. However the law is sometimes complex and open to interpretation, and applies to different youth agencies in different ways.

Note that NSW law is sometimes quite different to law in other states and territories of Australia.