- implement the screening-diagnosis and workforce development interventions within the Banksia Hill Detention Centre, which is the only detention centre in WA for offenders aged between 10 and 17 years
- build the capacity of Banksia Hill staff to implement best practice interventions in the identification and management of youth with FASD
- facilitate improved support for youth with FASD during detention and following their release into the community
- evaluate a range of implementation planning indicators including need, feasibility, acceptability, cost and resource implications.
Partnerships are vitally important as the project connects with the Department of Corrective Services, the Department of Child Protection and Family Services, young people in detention, their families and communities. After extensive planning and preparation, recruitment began in May 2015 among young people who have been sentenced at Banksia Hill Detention Centre, in Canning Vale, the only centre in WA for detainees aged between 10 and 17 years.
Young people at Banksia Hill who chose to participate were interviewed by the project research assistant and were assessed by a paediatrician, psychologist, occupational therapist and speech pathologist to provide information that may identify FASD or other conditions or impairments. A report for each young person assessed provided assessment findings, a provisional diagnosis if identified, their individual strengths and difficulties with recommendations for improved management strategies for the young person and referrals if appropriate. Discussion of this information with the young person and their parent / guardian / carers aimed to facilitate improved support for young people with FASD and other impairments during detention and in the community following their release.
Exploring how the recommended strategies match with existing communication and management pathways at Banksia Hill and with professional development and training is underway in the workforce development component of the project. Teachers, custodial officers and other staff at the Banksia Hill Detention Centre and educators at the WA Corrective Services Academy are generously sharing their experience and expertise.
Assessment of young people at Banksia Hill Detention Centre was completed a the end of 2016 and the research data are currently being analysed. The outcomes of the research will establish the first Australian estimate of FASD among young people in detention. Examination of the data will determine whether a FASD screening tool appropriate for use among young people entering juvenile detention in Australia is feasible.