Person Centred Assessment and Intervention Planning (SLCN/LDD/SEN) - Milton Keynes YOT

Age: 11-17
Sex: n/a
Cost: yes




  • To ensure accurate identification of young people’s Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN), Learning Difficulties and Disabilities (LDD) and Special Educational Needs (SEN)
  • To enable person centred and bespoke interventions – i.e. the intervention fits the young person (not vice versa) in relation to both Youth Justice and Education Training and Employment (ETE) settings
  • To ensure YOT assessment and intervention informs not only YOT interventions but also contributes to a wider understanding of identifying and meeting young people’s needs (e.g. SEN Support/EHC Plan) within educational/training settings and also contributes to local area understanding of need to inform commissioning/planning of services on the basis of evidence.



National and Local evidence has identified the prevalence of Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN), Learning Difficulties and Disabilities (LDD) and Special Educational Needs (SEN) in the youth justice system establishing that these affect the majority of young people in contact with Youth Offending Teams . Milton Keynes YOT therefore felt there was a need to place identification, assessment and intervention of these needs (SLCN/LDD/ SEN) at the core of the service to enable the development of a person centred approach to effective engagement and intervention.


This includes an assessment by a Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) of all young people. The SLT assessment is undertaken at the Pre-Sentence Report (PSR) stage for ‘All Options/So Serious’ reports where there is a risk of custody. The SLT Report is included as part of the available information to Court at sentencing with key issues and implications being highlighted and evidenced within the PSR to ensure the Court are enabled to make an informed decision in line with para 2.9 of the Sentencing Guidelines Council Overarching Principles for Sentencing Youths. This SLT assessment approach across the service has enabled more informed personalised assessment and the development of an intervention planning process which ensures that the order is understood by young people, and delivered to them in a language they understand: avoiding jargon and where necessary using pictorial representations.


The specific inclusion within the SLT assessment of a ‘Time Screening Assessment’ exploring the young person’s accurate grasp of Time Concepts (See ‘Time Matters – developed by Clare Doran, Sarah Dutt and Janet Pembury’) has also enabled greater planning to support engagement and has boosted compliance among the young people and has led to staff feeling reassured that the young people understand and are engaging with criminal justice processes.


This approach is applied to all young people, on the basis that they are evidentially more likely to have an SLCN/ LDD/SEN than not, and the approach has been tested and revised to ensure that it is beneficial to all young people and not patronising to those without an SLCN/LDD/ SEN.


SLT assessments are shared with the young person’s ETE provider (Schools; College etc.), Social Worker/Virtual Head (if looked after child) and the Special Educational Needs and Disability Team to ensure that any identified difficulties are taken into account in both assessment and planning to meet the young person’s needs for any SEN Support or for an Education Health and Care (EHC) Plan.



Implementing the Practice:

  • Milton Keynes YOT ensure that staff are aware of the impact and prevalence of SLCN/LDD /SEN amongst young people
  • Milton Keynes YOT ensure that all staff are applying the same criteria/discussion which ensures that they understand the reasons for/and implications of the approach
  • Milton Keynes has a system of undertaking checks at the three week point of a case (covering all elements – ROSH, SLCN plan etc.) which allows for quality assurance and ensuring that plans are being developed and used as intended.
  • This approach allows for any issues to be identified and addressed, either for the young person or the development of the plan.
  • Since implementation the level of engagement has increased, breach action has reduced and reoffending rate has reduced significantly (26.2%)




YOT: Milton Keynes Youth Offending Team
Name: Diz Minnitt