CHART — changing lives one step at a time

The Changing Habits and Reaching Targets (CHART) program is helping troubled young Queenslanders, including those experiencing problematic substance misuse, get their lives back on track.

Young people struggle and become disengaged with daily activities.

Young people involved in the youth justice system, including those who experiment with substances such as ice, are often disconnected from daily life, including from government services such as education and health.

Issues such as low motivation, poor emotional regulation, and limited problem-solving skills are barriers to ongoing engagement with such services. For example, young people lacking emotional regulation may find it very difficult to participate in traditional classroom environments. This then leads to further disengagement with normal daily activities.

CHART, run through the Department of Justice and Attorney-General, is a cognitive behavioural-based program designed to improve the basic skills of young people so they are better able to access other services, participate positively in the community and make improvements in important areas such as school attendance, health measures and participation in employment.

Designed for young people on supervised youth justice orders or supervised bail programs, it teaches them skills that help to steer them away from re-offending and towards ongoing positive patterns of behaviour. Trained caseworkers take them through modules that help to work on areas they may be lacking, and how they could apply these skills in real life. Each individual participant is assessed for their suitability for the program, which is then delivered over 16 to 28 sessions.

The CHART program is helping young people help themselves.

Some of the areas they work to improve include:

  • recognising patterns of behaviour that lead to offending
  • improving motivation to change
  • recognising and changing problematic thinking patterns
  • health and lifestyle balance
  • problem solving
  • relapse prevention
  • building healthy relationships
  • understanding the impacts of drug and alcohol use.

And there are already many success stories: young people experiencing problematic substance misuse have successfully completed the program and improved their capacity to identify problematic thinking and make positive judgements.

The Department of Justice and Attorney-General is working to continuously improve the CHART program, and is collaborating with Deakin University to trial a preparatory program for young people who do not have the cognitive capacity to engage in CHART.

This is one of the many programs that are being delivered by the Queensland Government to tackle ice. Read more about what we are doing through our Action on Ice draft action plan.

We’d also love to hear from you too — have your say on this challenging issue by making a submission to our consultation.