The Children’s Court of South Australia

  • Daniel KingEmail author
  • Andrew Day
  • Paul Delfabbro
Part of the Children’s Well-Being: Indicators and Research book series (CHIR, volume 7)


This chapter provides an overview of the history and development of the Youth Court in South Australia. Drawing on interviews conducted with judicial officers and Court stakeholders, we highlight some of the changes that have taken place since the Court’s inception, as well as how the Court currently understands its role and positioning within the broader justice and welfare systems. Key discussion points of these interviews included the Youth Court’s guiding principles and how they impact on Court procedures and responses to young people in the system, as well as the challenges that limit, or create difficulties for, the effective operation of the Youth Court. It is concluded that the Youth Court system attempts to balance both welfare and justice approaches to dealing with young people, but these approaches are sometimes hindered in practice by inadequate procedural, structural and resource-related factors. Limitations of the Court and its processes are often difficult to evaluate in isolation from the broader system in which the Court is positioned. Further evaluation of the Youth Court system’s processes and their general effectiveness is needed in order to develop a more empirically driven ‘what works’ mentality in the field. There is also a need for increased dialogue and sharing of information between state jurisdictions to enable a greater collaboration and development of ideas on tackling the current and future challenges of the Youth Court system.


Children’s Courts Juvenile justice Young offenders Child protection South Australia 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.School of PsychologyUniversity of AdelaideGeelongAustralia

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