London Accommodation Pathfinder Operations Manual and Storyboard – London Accommodation Pathfinder (May 2023)


London Accommodation Pathfinder, which provides alternative accommodation to Youth Detention Accommodation, have shared their operating manual to support key stakeholders and youth justice services to ensure consistency.  They have also shared their storyboard to use with children and their parents/careers.


The aim of the London Accommodation Pathfinder is to provide an alternative to Youth Detention Accommodation and support the children shift from a pro-offending to pro-social identity.  The Pathfinder will run from two properties across London, each offering five beds, so has capacity for a maximum of 10 children at any given time, between ages 16 and 17.  

The properties will be run by an accommodation provider that specialises in supporting this cohort of children. The accommodation in Barnet is launching on 22nd May 2023 and Newham on 12th June 2023. The place for each child is paid by the local authority, as part of commissioning agreement.

The Pathfinder have created an operations manual to provide guidance and support to youth justice services and key stakeholders around the operating policies and procedures of the London Accommodation Pathfinder to ensure consistency and quality in the running of the service being provided to the children. 

Contained within the appendices of the Operations Manual are a number of resources that YJ staff may find helpful, including:

The Pathfinder have also created a leaflet for children and their parents/carers describing the Pathfinder. The leaflet has been created with children within the youth justice system and is aimed at children, parents and those key stakeholders within the criminal justice system (youth justice services, Courts, Solicitors, Youth Detention Accommodation etc).

As part of the communication strategy for the project, and to ensure the needs of those with learning needs and different learning styles are met, the Pathfinder have created a storyboard explaining what the LAP is. The storyboard has been created with children within the youth justice system (from Islington and Haringey youth justice services) and is aimed at children and young people, parents and those key stakeholders within the criminal justice system.  

Interim evaluation report (May 2023) – click here to view


The London Accommodation Pathfinder (LAP) commissioned Middlesex University – Centre for Abuse And Trauma Studies to undertake a two year evaluation of the LAP. The overall evaluation focuses on two phases. Phase 1 the Interim report which focus on the set-up and governance arrangements and Phase 2 the full report which will be focus on children- experiences and outcomes.


The London Accommodation Pathfinder (LAP) is a project designed to support and divert children away from custody. This interim report provides a progress update and evaluation of the LAP project to date, with the aim of determining its strengths and weaknesses.

The evaluation process involved two stages. The first stage included in-depth interviews with five members of the Board, which explored their general perspectives on the LAP in relation to four evaluation quadrants: The set-up of the LAP; Sub-Regional Framework; Outcomes for Children; and Cost Benefits and Research. The second stage of the evaluation involved a mixed methods survey distributed to all members of the Steering Group across both sub-regions, with a total of 20 responses received.

In conclusion, this interim report provides valuable insight into the LAP project’s progress to date. The evaluation process highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the project, including the challenges faced by the Steering Group in the delay of provision of accommodations. The report also underscores the optimism of the respondents about the suitability of the referral process and the LAP’s ability to identify the children’s pro-offending narrative and develop their pro-social identity. This report will serve as an important basis for the final stages of the evaluation, where it will be possible to engage with the children participating in the LAP. Overall, the LAP remains a significant step towards supporting and diverting children away from custody in the London region.


London Accommodation PathfinderLondon Accomodation Pathfinder
Name:Matthew Knights