Explore our services

Find out about our clinical practice model and our referral criteria, as well as the services we provide, training and clinical placements.

Clinical model

We've developed a collaborative clinical practice model, which has three main elements:

Field-based practice

The aim of a field-based model is to ensure all young clients, regardless of location, receive equitable access to specialist services. Instead of clients travelling to a central location, GYFS clinicians travel to each client to conduct assessments and provide specialist treatment services. Depending on the client’s location (metropolitan, regional, rural or remote), GYFS clinicians will conduct multi-day or week-long community visits. Field-based practice:

  • allows GYFS clinicians to directly observe the client in their own environment;
  • preserves the ecological validity of the assessments undertaken in a way that an interview in a clinical room cannot;
  • allows interventions to be delivered in the same environment; and
  • supports clients which may lead to increased engagement and participation in treatment and interventions.

Individualised, multisystemic assessment and intervention

Given the heterogeneity of the client population, GYFS assessment and treatment is tailored around the individual client. Assessment is undertaken of the young person, their broader ecology (family, peers, school, community), and the offence/s they have committed.  A risk assessment is also undertaken.  GYFS assessment informs the development of a multisystemic case formulation, which in turn informs the development of an individualised treatment and risk management plan, with a focus on individual-, family-, peer- and community-level interventions. Because many young sex offenders present with antisocial problems, GYFS avoids group treatment. Instead, GYFS clinicians focus their efforts on trying to increase the quality and frequency of contact with prosocial peers. GYFS staff select from a wide range of evidence-based therapeutic interventions, individually tailored for each client. Treatment progress is systematically monitored and goals and intervention approaches are revised where appropriate.

Collaborative partnerships

GYFS practice model relies on identifying and recruiting teams of local collaborative partners, including professionals, para-professionals, non-professionals and family members, to assist in the development and delivery of interventions.  Engaging with collaborative partners involves:

  • establishing teams of key people within the offender’s natural and professional ecology who could influence the client’s behaviour and promote positive outcomes;
  • identifying collaborative partners (professionals, para-professionals, non-professionals or family members) to assist in the development and delivery of treatment interventions;
  • collaboration, sharing of expertise/knowledge, and professional development; and
  • engaging with identified cultural consultants to assist in knowledge ecosystems specific to cultural practice

Particularly for Indigenous clients, engagement with cultural consultants and local Indigenous collaborative partners ensures that cultural and other local protocols are respected and followed where appropriate. Indigenous consultants/partners provide the offender with consistent access to support and guidance within their community, and allow appropriate messages regarding sexual behaviour to be provided by persons from within their own culture and community.

Griffith Youth Forensic Service Synergetic Intervention Model


Referral criteria

GYFS receives clinical referrals exclusively from the Queensland Department of Youth Justice, Policy, Performance, Programs and Practice unit.

GYFS accepts referrals for clients throughout Queensland, who have been found guilty in court in relation to sexual (or sexually motivated) offences. GYFS will accept referrals for:

  • pre-sentence assessments
  • post-sentence (pre-treatment) assessment
  • post-sentence assessment and treatment interventions.

GYFS has no specific exclusion criteria for referrals.

New referrals

On the receipt of a new referral, GYFS will undertake a brief risk / needs assessment of each referral and on this basis will make a decision whether or not to accept the referral.


GYFS gives priority to referrals for:

  • pre-sentence assessments
  • cases assessed as high-risk or high-need
  • clients from rural and remote locations.


Referrals will only be rejected if:

  • it is clear that, for workload or capacity reasons, GYFS will not be able to commence the required services within a reasonable period (usually eight weeks)
  • the risk / needs assessment indicates that the case may be effectively managed without the direct involvement of GYFS
  • inadequate time frames prevent effective assessment or treatment provision.

For further information please call us.

(07) 3735 3347

Services provided by GYFS

Griffith Youth Forensic Service provides the following services to Queensland Department of Youth Justice.

  • Clinical assessment of young people who have committed sexual offences
  • Evidence-based pre-sentence and pre-treatment assessment reports to facilitate court decisions and treatment planning and
  • A range of ecosystemic treatment approaches individually tailored to the individual needs of the young person and their family.

Griffith Youth Forensic Service also provides:

  • Fee-for-service training and consultancy for a variety of stakeholders.
  • Research regarding the etiology, development and patterns of sexual offending by young persons, and intervention effectiveness. For more information refer to the type of research GYFS undertakes.

Information about training

In addition to its direct therapeutic work, Griffith Youth Forensic Service (GYFS) also aims to build community and professional capacity for responding to and preventing sexual violence and abuse. This is done through formal training programs, collaborative treatment partnerships, and community engagement. On a limited fee-for-service basis, GYFS can provide training to the following key stakeholders:

  • youth justice case workers
  • child safety officers
  • placement service providers
  • foster care agencies
  • GYFS also provides training around Child Safe Organisations

For more information about the training GYFS provides please contact us.

Clinical placements

GYFS provides opportunities for postgraduate students who are interested in gaining forensic/clinical experience in assessment and treatment within the field of adolescent sexual offending. By completing a placement within the Service, the student may gain exposure to:

  • forensic report writing for the courts;
  • assessment of adolescents who have sexually offended;
  • individual and family therapeutic interventions;
  • risk assessment techniques in the area of sexual offending;
  • working within a multisystemic framework;
  • community networks in the area of youth justice and welfare; and
  • the provision of professional development for community welfare and mental health professionals.

Students are supervised by suitably accredited/experienced GYFS staff, in particular a GYFS Senior Clinician.  
If you are interested in discussing clinical placement opportunities, please contact us.


For more details about Griffith Youth Forensic Service, get in touch