Health issues that youth experience when exposed to family violence
Dec 03, 2019
Snr Constable Michael Beilken, Silk Miller Scholar
Health issues that youth experience when exposed to family violence

Senior Constable Michael Beilken

Rotary Central Melbourne Silk Miller Scholar 2019

Michael’s presentation will be in relation to “health issues that youth experience when exposed to family violence”.

He is one of the driving forces behind a project – run out of the Moorabbin Children’s Court – helping young people on to the right path, stopping them re-offending and breaking patterns of family violence.

Michael recognises that most police he’s dealt with want to see a youth succeed and not re-enter the justice system or have constant dealings with police.

Over the past 3 years he has developed an understanding of some underlying causes of repeat child offending. While researching programs that addressed such causes, he tracked down the Hampton-based disability and youth service MOIRA.

The service had conducted an “adolescent violence in the home program”, thanks to financial support from Brighton Rotary. He partnered with Brighton headspace — an organisation that provides early intervention mental health services to 12 to 25-year-olds – and won funding and a location for MOIRA to continue their vital work.

Now young people at risk of offending are referred to the Victoria Police-endorsed “family violence youth diversion program”, through which children and teens are made to see the consequences of their actions.

In November ’17, the Crime Statistics Agency analysed data around 61 youth diversion participants who had been referred to a variety of programs.

The agency’s data showed 59 per cent of youths ordered to complete a diversion program did not re-offend within a year of completing the program, and only 6.6 per cent of diversion participants committed the same type of offence they were previously charged with.

Senior Constable Michael Beilken is our Silk Miller Scholar for 2019. He has completed one semester in the Graduate Diploma of Adolescent Health & Wellbeing at the University of Melbourne.

Michael was based at Bayside in the Southern Metro Region - Division 2 Victoria Police, and recently obtained a Detective position at the Family Violence Command Taskforce. His expertise and interest is in the field of youth engagement. He managed and established a youth diversion project in 2016/2017.

He has established a Regional Adolescent Behaviour Change Program (Pilot) in collaboration with Task Force and Family Life. He has attended a formal police training program in Canada and United States to study international policing practices used to police youth crime and suppress the growth of prevalent or potential gangs within the community. Michael continues to enhance frontline members understanding about the importance of youth engagement while attempting to enhance service productivity with public and community sector agencies.