Independent Visitor Program

We organise independent volunteers to visit Victoria's youth justice centres.

About the program

Our Independent Visitor Program involves monthly visits by independent volunteers to Victoria's youth justice centres.

Independent visitors play an important role in helping children and young people in custody, including:

  • providing information and assistance 
  • monitoring their safety and wellbeing 
  • promoting their rights and interests.

What independent visitors do

Independent visitors go to centres in Parkville and Cherry Creek (near Werribee) and talk to children and young people in custody. They observe the general routines of the centre and talk to staff about services being provided to children and young people. 

After each visit, they meet with the centre's Director of Operations to talk about their observations and discussions with children and young people. Independent visitors provide a written report to the Commission after each visit. Any issues or concerns raised by children and young people are then provided to Youth Justice to follow up and resolve.

This information helps inform our oversight and monitoring of services to children and young people in youth justice centres.

10 years of the Independent Visitor Program

The Independent Visitor Program started in 2012, after the Victorian Ombudsman made a recommendation about the youth justice system in 2010.

Since the program started, we have seen the benefits of giving children and young people the opportunity to voice their needs and concerns. Having volunteer visitors helps us to uphold the rights of children and young people in youth justice and improve their prospects of rehabilitation.

There have been many occasions when issues have been brought to light and addressed, thanks to the hard work of our independent visitors.

Calling for volunteers from Aboriginal, African and Pasifika communities

We’re looking for volunteers from Aboriginal, African and Pasifika communities to join the Independent Visitor Program. Visitors play an important role in independent monitoring and helping young people in custody. Identifying with visitors from their culture helps young people to feel a connection with visitors that can help them feel more comfortable.  

If you're interested in being involved in the program, please reach out by calling the number below.

Find out more

For more information about the program or how to volunteer, please contact us on 1300 78 29 78.