Back on Track program

The Back on Track Program helps at-risk young people understand the impacts of their anti-social or offending behaviour on:

  • themselves
  • their family
  • their community.

It’s for 8 to 17 years olds who live in Alice Springs, greater Darwin, Katherine, Nhulunbuy and Tennant Creek.

They can be referred or as an alternative to detention, the court can sentence them to this program.

To be eligible, the young person must:

  • be:
    • between 8 and 17 years old when they start the program
    • supported by a responsible adult who has agreed to assist them in the program
    • living in Alice Springs, greater Darwin, Katherine, Nhulunbuy or Tennant Creek
    • be at risk of or already be disengaged from education, training or employment
  • have:
    • a history with the police or be at risk of entering the youth justice system
    • anti-social or offending behaviour
    • attempted or given appropriate consideration to other relevant service options
    • access to stable accommodation
  • give informed consent to engage and participate in the program.

This program:

  • addresses:
    • at-risk behaviour, consequences and restitution
    • life skills and cultural connection
    • family capacity and responsibility
  • supports re-engagement with education, training and employment
  • empowers young people to make safe decisions for everyone.

Program elements

The program includes the following key elements.

Element 1 – assessment and case management

The first element is an initial assessment of the young person by a service provider.

This allows them to understand the young person's development and therapeutic needs.

It also identifies any underlying health and welfare issues that may impact their ability to engage with other elements of the program.

The service provider who undertakes this assessment:

  • are responsible for their case management
  • will tailor the program to their individual requirements.

Element 2 – consequences, reparation and giving back to the community

The second element supports young people to understand the:

  • consequences of their behaviour
  • impacts their anti-social behaviour has on the wider community.

This element supports them in achieving their goals in their restorative justice outcome plans.

Element 3 – life skills, cultural connection and building family capacity and responsibility

The third element encourages young people to:

  • connect with their culture and the community
  • develop foundation skills for adulthood
  • care for themselves and others
  • build a sense of self
  • address their health concerns and housing stability.

Element 4 - vocational education, training and employment and reengagement with education

The fourth element engages young person in education and skills training programs.

These programs equip them with the learning, qualifications, skills and confidence required to:

  • enter the workforce
  • positively contribute to the community.

Depending on their age, this may include:

  • vocational education and training programs
  • mainstream education through the Department of Education
  • employment.

Service providers

To deliver this program across the Northern Territory, the following non-government service providers are engaged through Territory Families, Housing and Communities:

  • Australian Childhood Foundation
  • Central Australian Aboriginal Congress
  • Anglicare NT
  • Jesuit Social Services
  • Save the Children Australia
  • Saltbush Social Enterprises
  • First Step Development Enterprises.

Read more on the service providers and their designated region.

To refer a young person to the program, follow these steps.

Step 1. Fill in the program referral form PDF (292.3 KB).

Step 2. Get the young person to fill in and sign the consent form PDF (809.7 KB).

Step 3. Submit your forms by email to

If you’re a service provider, you can access a data collection form that allows you to collect data for this program.

Access is only available to nominated service provider employees.

Register now


For more information, contact the Back on Track Program team in the Youth Justice unit.

Last updated: 09 August 2022

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