Follow-on evaluation of Sandwell Youth Offending Service – a creative approach to working with young people – Sandwell YOS (August 2021)

Summary:  Attached is the link to the evaluation conducted in relation to Sandwell YOS creative approach to working with children. 




Sandwell youth offending service have been implementing a creative approach to working with children, which is an alternative method when delivering interventions. The work itself has not changed, what is different, is that Sandwell YOS is able to offer a very complex cohort a different way to express themselves when traditional methods do not work.

In 2019 the Institute for Community Research and Development (ICRD) was commissioned and completed the first phase of the evaluation. Following which the follow-on evaluation of Sandwell Youth Offending Service – a creative approach to working with young people was completed. The follow on evaluation is a process and impact evaluation (estimation as they cannot conclusively attribute change solely to approach), combining quantitative data to understand if any change was happening with in depth qualitative interviews to understand how this change might be happening.

The report concluded that the work undertaken by Sandwell YOS was innovative and showing early evidence of success.

The report includes a number of recommendations for Sandwell YOS and the Youth Justice Partnership Board, aimed at building on the successes to date and working towards sustainability.


Sandwell YOS have found that the depth of information that children share during sessions has increased whilst using creative methods. There has also been an increase in additional creative work/activities that children have become involved with, that are not part of their statutory orders such as Arts Colleges and Youth Forum.


Implementing the practice:

• Some staff have received specialist training such as Draw and Talk and Arts Award training

• Some staff have completed creative idea sessions with professional artists to explore different creative ways to do a piece of work such as exploring children’s identities and family tree’s

• Every young person who enter the service on a statutory order complete an induction called ‘Getting to Know’. This is a creative induction that is designed for a case manager to get to know a young person and their life. This also encourages a relationship based approach from the start of the order, whilst introducing the creative approaches that we use.




Youth offending team:  Sandwell YOS 
Name: Claire Martin