The Children’s Court Youth Diversion Service (CCYD) is a pre-plea option that provides an opportunity for young people appearing before the criminal division of the Children’s Court to:

  • accept responsibility for their behaviour
  • understand the harm caused by their actions
  • complete a diversion plan, involving activities intended to reduce the likelihood of further offending
  • have the charge/s discharged, on successful completion of the diversion plan
  • avoid the stigma associated with a criminal record, and its impact on future life opportunities.

CCYD complements the existing suite of options available to divert children and young people from further progression into the criminal justice system. Other options occur pre-court (police cautions), pre-plea (Ropes - a one day interactive education program) and post-plea (deferral of sentence and group conferencing). 


CCYD targets young people with limited or no criminal history who would otherwise be sentenced to an outcome not requiring supervision from youth justice.

The young person’s history and circumstances of their offending are considered in determining whether diversion is appropriate. There are no automatic exclusions regarding the nature or type of offence eligible for diversion, apart from offences that carry a mandatory penalty.

Eligibility is informed by consultation with the young person, their family or carer, legal representative and Victoria Police prosecutors.


The Children Youth and Families Act 2005 (External link) require both the prosecution and the accused to consent to diversion.


Diversion coordinators:

  • attend all scheduled sittings of the Criminal Division of the Children’s Court
  • conduct assessments following prosecution consent and a magistrate’s referral
  • provide advice to the court on the young person’s suitability for diversion
  • develop a plan, tailored to the young person’s circumstances
  • engage the young person to foster completion of the diversion plan
  • report back to the court on a young person’s compliance with the court’s direction.

The diversion plan may contain a range of activities for the child or young person. The diversion plan is:

  • designed to build upon or strengthen the individual’s protective factors
  • promote reparation of harm caused by the offence/s
  • proportionate to the offence/s before the court.

The approach used by the Children’s Court Youth Diversion Service is underpinned by research that shows that over-intervening can increase a young person’s risk of reoffending.

Contact CCYD

Central email: ccyd@justice.vic.gov.au (External link)

or at the Justice Service Centres that specify CCYD is available