Rhonda Parker

Rhonda Parker


    Plan of compulsory intervention for young people at risk of self-harm

    18/11/1999 8:50 AM


    Compulsory intervention for young people with drug addiction and at serious risk of self-harm but who resist help is among plans outlined by the State Government today.

    As part of the second Together Against Drugs strategy 1999-2001, the Government will conduct a feasibility study and broad community consultation on a model of intensive support and family or Government initiated referral of young people at extreme risk of self harm into compulsory treatment for their drug addiction.

    The Minister Responsible for Drug Abuse Strategy, Rhonda Parker, said the strategy, which would comprise legislation and service responses, would be aimed specifically at children involved in self-harming activities such as prostitution.

    “The community and the Government could not stand by and let these problems go unchecked,” Mrs Parker said.

    “I welcomed the initial support expressed publicly by leading non-Government agencies recently when I raised the issue.”

    At the same time the Minister said she respected the need to handle such a move carefully.

    Mrs Parker said the approach would need to be youth focused with services working intensively with young people and their families.

    “The case-management and service delivery also needed to effectively co-ordinate the role of different agencies in supporting a young person,” she said.

    “The option to coerce young people into treatment through compulsory intervention should be available, but only as the last resort when everything else has failed.”

    A discussion paper would be released in January to allow for the community to consider the issue fully and to give feedback on the initiative. Mrs Parker said that a proposal would then be taken to Cabinet by the middle of next year.

    Media contact: Owen Cole 9481 7810