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Follow-on evaluation of Sandwell Youth Offending Service – A Creative Approach to Working with Young People – Sandwell Youth Offending Service (August 2021)


Sandwell Youth Offending Service have shared the evaluation of their creative approach to working with children in their service. 


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 youth offending service is able to offer a very complex cohort of children 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 youth offending service was innovative and showing early evidence of success.  The report includes a number of recommendations for Sandwell youth offending service and the Youth Justice Partnership Board, aimed at building on the successes to date and working towards sustainability.

Sandwell youth offending service 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- identities and family tree-,
  • Every child who enter the service on a statutory order, completes 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 justice service: Sandwell Youth Offending Service
Name:Claire Martin