Case management and court orders
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.
Key responsibilities of our officers
The key responsibility of our officers, also known as case managers, are to:
- prevent re-offending
- support and promote the welfare of the young person
- improve their life chances
- protect the public
To allow 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:
- Living arrangements
- 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
- 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 and to help make sure 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:
- education, training and employment (ETE)
- 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.
If the young person doesn't keep their appointments for final warnings, the case manager will tell the police.
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. They 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 stop further offending.
What the young person will have to do
Every young person who gets a final warning is expected to co-operate with the Youth Offending Service in relation to the Assessment Meeting.
Depending on the result of the assessment, the young person may be required to begin 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
- Constructive activities
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 tell the Police.
This non-compliance will be placed on the young persons record for future reference.
If there is a further offence and subsequent court appearance, the court will be told of the non-compliance.
The court will take this into consideration when they sentence.
The court may ask the Youth Offending Service for the background of the non-compliance to help them decide the appropriate level of sentence.
If you have to go to court
If you have to appear in court, the first thing you should do is get a solicitor.
If you cannot afford to pay for a solicitor you should be eligible for legal aid, which covers a solicitor's fees.
If you still don't have a solicitor by the time you get to court, you should ask at court for the duty solicitor.
Who will be in the court room
- The usher
- The clerk
- The prosecutor
- Your defence
- The youth offending service
- The magistrates
If you plead guilty to an offence
If a young person pleads guilty, the court has various options open to it:
- absolute discharge
- hosiptal order
- referral order
If you are found guilty of an offence
If you are found of an offence, an order will be made by the court to determine the appropriate punishment.
If you plead not guilty to an offence
The defence and the prosecution will probably ask for the case to be adjourned for a pre trial review, where the clerk of the court will set a date for the trial.
At the trial itself, once all of the prosecution case has been laid, the defence will start its case by calling its list of witnesses.
This is then repeated, with the defence going first.
When this process has been completed, the magistrates will leave the court to discuss all of the evidence that they have heard and to decide whether or not the young person is guilty.
The Youth Justice Service is asked by the Court to prepare a pre-sentence report (PSR).
This is a written report to help the Court consider the choices open to it when you are sentenced.
On leaving the court, you will be given a time and date for an appointment to see a member of the Youth Justice Service.
You must keep this appointment.
If you are 16 years old or younger, your parent or guardian must attend the appointment with you.
What parents and guardians need to do
Parents and guardians should take their responsibilities to stop the young person from committing further offences seriously.
- help the young person through the final warning process by making sure they attend appointments as required.
- talk to the young person about the work they have been required to do
- work with the South Tyneside Youth Offending Service
A parenting order is designed to offer parents / carers support, guidance and training to allow them to have greater control over their children's behaviour.
It can be awarded at court to the parent(s) / carers of young people who:
- have committed a crime
- have failed to attend school
Who can get a parenting order
A parenting order can be made in the following circumstances against the parent / carer of any child who is brought into court for an offence:
- when a child is made the subject of an anti-social behaviour order or a sex offender order
- when a parent / carer is prosecuted for their child's poor attendance at school
- When a child is made the subject of a child safety order
Any parent or carer that a young person lives with can be given a parenting order - so this may include a step-parent.
A parent who is not living with, but is in regular contact, may also be issued with a separate order.
A parenting order can be made without the parent / carer being present in court, but it is better if they can attend because, if asked, they can express their views.
If you receive a parenting order
If you receive a parenting order, you will have to:
- attend a parenting skills course, or
- attend weekly counselling or guidance sessions
The main 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 make sure your child is at home during set hours and is appropriately supervised
- that you make sure they attend school regularly and on time
If a parent / carer does not keep the condition of the order
If the parent / carer does not give genuine reasons for this, they will be in breach of the order.
This means they will be given a written warning. If they still fail to keep to the conditions of the order, a meeting will be called to review the situation.
If, after these procedures, the parent / carer still does not comply with the order, they may be taken back to court.
If this does happen, they will be subject to further proceedings, resulting in a criminal conviction, which could be a fine of up to £1,000 or an adult community sentence.
Other ways to help with your child's behaviour
You are able to get support from the Youth Offending Service (YOS) on a voluntary basis.
You will need to speak with your child's Case Manager and they will make a referral to our Parenting Officer or give you advice on where you can sought advice / help.
The level of support you can get depends on your individual needs.
You may only need one session or support over a period of time.
How long your support will last
If you attend a parenting programme a review will be held at the end of the programme.
You will be able to discuss what progress has been made and whether you feel you need further support.
If further support is needed then a decision will be made between you and the Parenting Officer as to what support is needed and you will provide it.
If you are receiving one-to-one support from the Parenting Officer, your case will be reviewed every 4 weeks to assess what progress has been made.
At 12 weeks, a decision will be made about what further support is needed and which service will provide it.
What a parenting course is
A parenting course 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.
If you don't attend the course
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.
Youth Offender Panel
A Youth Offender Panel (YOP) consists of:
- two volunteers recruited directly from the local community
- one member of the Youth Offending Team (YOT)
They talk to the young person, 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.