Our work is strictly governed by a set of national standards, which are published by the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales. These standards include time limits for completion of assessments and for reports for court. They also specify the minimum number of appointments that a young person on a court order needs to complete.
The key responsibility of our officers (case managers) is to prevent re-offending, support and promote the welfare of the young person, improve their life chances, and protect the public.
To enable us to determine what steps to take in each case, we will interview the young person and their parent or carer at least once. From this, the case manager will complete an assessment tool called 'Asset'. Asset looks at the following areas of the young person's life:
Family and Personal Relationships
Education, Training and Employment
Substance Use Physical Health
Emotional and Mental Health
Perception of Self and Others
Thinking and Behaviour
Attitudes to Offending
Motivation to Change
This assessment will identify factors that put the young person at risk of further offending which need to be addressed, together with positive factors that the worker can build on.
These factors will form the basis of the intervention plan that the case manager agrees with the young person and their parent/carer. For part of this intervention plan, to help ensure that the young person gets the best possible help from the most appropriate professionals, the case manager will make referrals to specialists within the YOS Resources Team, such as health, drugs, education, training and employment (ETE), and also to external services where appropriate.
These specialists will see the young person, but the case manager will still oversee the case. The case manager will keep in close contact with the young person, and do some of the work, such as offending behaviour work. In the event of the young person not keeping their appointments for final warnings, the case manager will notify the police, and for court orders the case manager will take the young person back to court for being in breach of the order.
With court orders, if the young person has done really well, the case manager may take the young person back to court to ask the court to consider ending the order early on the grounds of good progress.
The Case Management team
Early Intervention Unit (EIU) The EIU work with young people on final warnings and referral orders. The team is made up of 1 Unit Coordinator and 5 YOS Officers.
Community Orders Unit (COU) The COU work with young people on action plan orders, supervision orders, community rehabilitation orders, community punishment, rehabilitation orders and bail support. The team is made up of 1 Unit Coordinator and 5 YOS Officers.
Prolific Offenders Unit (POU) The POU work with young people on detention and training orders, remand, ISSP, bail ISSP and deter cases. The team is made up of 1 Unit Coordinator (ISSP Practitioner), 3 YOS Officers (including 1 probation officer) and 3 ISSP Advocates.
The final warning is for young people who have committed an offence
Final warnings are only available to first or second time offenders
Final warnings are not suitable for very serious offenders
The final warning is given at the Police Station by a Police Officer. If the young person offends again within 2 years, the young person will be charged to Court
The final warning results in a referral to the Youth Offending Service who may become involved in order to prevent offending.
What happens next? A member of staff from the Youth Offending Service will arrange an appointment to meet the young person and his/her parent(s) or guardian, usually before the Police issue the final warning. The first meeting is called the Assessment Meeting. The purpose of this Assessment will be to try and understand why the young person has got into trouble, and what can be done to prevent further offending.
What will the young person have to do? Every young person receiving a final warning is expected to co-operate with the Youth Offending Service in relation to the Assessment Meeting. Depending upon the result of the Assessment, the young person may be required to undertake a programme of work for a period of up to 3 months.
This programme could involve any of the following activities:
Making an apology to the victim either personally or in writing
An activity which benefits the community e.g removing graffiti
Attending sessions abut Victim Awareness and Consequences of Crime
Work related to the offence e.g anger management, alcohol or drug awareness etc
What happens if the young person fails to co-operate? If the young person fails to complete the assessment or any programmes of work, the Youth Offending Service will notify the Police. This non-compliance will be placed on the young persons record for future reference. In the event of a further offence and subsequent Court appearance, the Court will be told of the non-compliance. The Court will take this fact into consideration when they sentence. The Court may ask the Youth Offending Service for the background of the non-compliance to help them determine the appropriate level of sentence.
What do parents and guardians need to do? In short, take seriously their responsibilities to prevent the young person from committing further offences. They should help the young person through the final warning process by ensuring he/she attends appointments as required. They should also talk to the young person about the work they have been required to do, and work in partnership with the South Tyneside Youth Offending Service.
Parenting orders are new under the Crime and Disorder Act. It is designed to offer Parents/Carers support, guidance and training to enable them to exercise greater control over their children's behaviour.
It can be awarded at Court to the Parent(s)/Carers of young people who:
Have committed crime
Failed to attend school.
What if I receive a Parenting Order? You will have to:
Attend a Parenting Skills Course, or
Attend weekly counselling or guidance sessions.
The core requirement is for the parent(s)/carers to attend these sessions on a weekly basis for up to 3 months. To avoid a repeat of the problems that led to the order, the Court can make additional requirements. These include:
That you ensure that your child is at home during set hours and is appropriately supervised
That you ensure she/he attends school regularly and on time.
What is a Parenting Course? It is a course that takes place once a week for up to 3 months. Each session will last between 1 hour 30 minutes and 2 hours. There could be up to 8 other parents attending the same course. Two staff members from the Youth Offending Service will run the course. The course will take place at an easily accessible venue in South Tyneside.
What if I do not attend? If you fail to attend or keep to the requirements of the Parenting Order, you will be taken back to Court where you could be fined up to £1000 or re-sentenced.
Referral orders are given to most 10 to 17-year-olds pleading guilty on a first time conviction, unless the charge is serious enough to warrant custody. After appearing in court, the young person is referred to a Youth Offender Panel (YOP) which considers the best course of action.
A Youth Offender Panel consists of two volunteers recruited directly from the local community, alongside one member of the Youth Offending Team (YOT). They talk to the youngster, the parents and (where possible) the victim of the crime, to agree a tailor-made contract aimed at putting things right. The contract might include a letter of apology to the victim, removing graffiti or cleaning up estates and communities. It will also include activities to prevent further offending, such as getting young people back into school and helping with alcohol or drug misuse.
The Reparation Order is a Court disposal for young people aged 10-17 years of age, who have been convicted of any criminal offence other than one for which the sentence is fixed by law.
The Reparation Order can be stand alone sentence or may be combined with certain other Court orders.
The Reparation Order should not exceed a maximum of 24 hours, over a period of 3 months, from the making of the order. The length of the order is decided by the Court.
What is the aim of the Reparation Order? The Reparation Order aims to prevent re-offending by ensuring that the young person is made aware of the consequences and impact of criminal activity. The Reparation Order aims to encourage the young person to take responsibility for their actions and in doing so make amends to their victim or the community as a whole.
What will the young person have to do? Direct Reparation: Direct Reparation may involve the offender meeting his/her victim(s) in person to make a verbal apology. This is known as Victim Offender Mediation. (This type of reparation takes place only with the consent of both victim and offender). Direct Reparation could require the offender to write a letter of apology and/or take part in practical activities, which directly benefit the victim.
Indirect Reparation: The Reparation Order may specify that the young person undertake indirect reparation. This may involve a programme of work within the community. Examples of this work could be removing graffiti, environmental work, assisting retailers who have been victims of shoplifting etc.
What happens if the young person fails to co-operate? At most 2 warnings within the period of the order may be given before breach proceedings are issued. Breach proceedings will involve the young person being returned to Court. The Court has the option to discharge the order and re-sentence for the original offence. Breach proceedings can be taken at any stage of the order (regardless of the length of time it has to run), and without prior warning if the failure to comply is serious, such as an attempt to avoid its completion or serious misconduct.
What do parents and guardians have to do?
Parents/guardians should attend Court with the young person
Parents/guardians should encourage the young person to appreciate fully the consequences of his/her offending behaviour
Talk to the young person about the work they have been required to do
They should ensure that the young person successfully completes the reparative activity assigned to him/her
Work in partnership with the South Tyneside Youth Offending Service.