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Friday, 28 July 2017 08:33

Assessment Clinic – Sutton YOT

 Age:  10-17
 Sex:  n/a
 Cost:  n/a




  • To ensure that young people are seen within a few days from Court and to start the assessment process
  • Support young people to meet and become more familiar with the specialist workers and thus more agreeable to ongoing intervention/engagement




The Assessment Clinic, makes part of the standard process that all new young people are required to engage in if a Pre-Sentence Report is requested or if they have received a Youth Conditional Caution or a Referral Order. However, in cases where the young person is already known to the YOT but it is felt that there has been a significant change in circumstances, then a review assessment can be booked. Youth Cautions, Triage and Prevention cases are on occasions also referred to the Clinic where specific needs have been identified that may benefit from a specialist assessment.

The Education Worker, Speech and Language Therapist and School Nurse staff the Clinic (although the Parenting Worker and Referral Order Coordinator have also previously attended). The Speech and Language Therapist and Education Worker take 15-30 minutes to complete their assessments and the Nurse around 45 minutes. On average young people take around 1.5 hours to complete the three assessments. However it is essential that a balance is struck in regards to how many specialists/screening assessments the young person has to engage with and them becoming disengaged with the process. Young people are offered breaks and water in between the assessments and where further in-depth assessment or follow up support is required, further appointments will be scheduled.

The Assessment Clinic allows for specialist workers to meet young people and complete an assessment and consider any next steps, but it also means that the Case Manager can focus on interviewing and completing other screenings.



Implementing the Practice:

  • The young people are booked into the Clinic by the Court Duty Officer or if the young person was sentenced out of borough, the appointment is made by the allocated case manager.
  • The Court Duty Officer or case manager explains the purpose of the Clinic to the young person/parent.
  • In Sutton YOT the Clinic takes place on a Tuesday afternoon from 12pm-5pm.
  • Sutton YOT use a google spreadsheet that allows staff to book slots with relevant specialist workers.
  • To support the Clinic, various rooms across the YOT are block booked.
  • Each specialist worker is co-assigned the relevant section on AssetPlus and they complete that section within a week.
  • Sutton has found that there was a slightly better attendance rate when it was straight after court, particularly with parents, where an evening session could potentially increase parental attendance.




YOT: Sutton Youth Offending Team
Name: Angela Killalea
Email: angela.killalea@sutton.gov.uk


Published in Resources For Sharing
Wednesday, 10 October 2018 09:26

AssetPlus Secure Estate Quality Assurance Tool

Attached below are three versions of the AssetPlus Secure Estate Quality Assurance (SEQuA) Tool. The first attachment is the full version of the tool, the second attachment is the version to support Secure Estate managers at the Entering into Custody stage and the third attachment is to support Secure Estate managers at the Review stage.


Published in Resources For Sharing
Thursday, 22 December 2016 11:17

Cardiff Triage

Age: 10-17
Sex:  n/a
Cost:  yes




  • At the earliest opportunity to divert young people committing low level offences away from the Criminal Justice System into effective interventions to reduce re-offending
  • Further reduce youth crime through early identification of risk leading to a swift, appropriate and effective diversionary Restorative Justice response
  • Increase community confidence in the Criminal Justice System through greater involvement of victims and witnesses and restorative justice
  • To improve collaboration and decision making at the point of arrest resulting in interventions which are more targeted and proportionate
  • Identify risk and share relevant information across South Wales Police and Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan Youth Offending Service (YOS) on more serious/ persistent young offenders so leading to more strategic partnership working and a more effective response to the needs of the young person




Cardiff Triage was developed in 2009 using Youth Crime Action Plan monies and was subsequently funded through the Welsh Government's Safer Communities Fund. The model was developed to provide a restorative disposal model for Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan counties using the new central custody suite hub which opened in October 2009 in Cardiff Bay Police Station. The model was developed from examining best practice from the sixty-nine Triage schemes that were operating in England. Triage is now funded via the Community Safety Division Promoting Positive Engagement for Young People (at risk of offending) Grant. Eligible young people receive a holistic assessment looking at all aspects of their lives with the aim of informing a mutually agreed intervention plan between the worker and young person/ family. This intervention plan will include work with the Triage worker and is likely to include referrals to other specialist agencies for issues including self-harm, mental health issues and substance misuse. It also includes a restorative justice intervention with the young person aiming to make amends with the victim. For a general overall please see Triage


Implementing the Practice:

  • Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan YOS utilise Triage as their formal diversion programme. Media Academy Cardiff are commissioned out of Welsh Government Promoting Positive Engagement Regional Grant.
  • The utilisation of a third sector organisation brings additional benefits to young people; specifically that they do not identify themselves as being with the ‘YOT’ which assists with the overall ethos of Diversion




YOT: Vale of Glamorgan Youth Offending Service
Name: Mark Bishop
Telephone: 01446 745820
Email: MBishop@valeofglamorgan.gov.uk
Source Organisation: Media Academy Cardiff
Name: Nick Corrigan/Sam Heatley
Telephone: 02920 667 668/02920 235 750 
Email: nick@mediaacademycardiff.org/sam@mediaacademycardiff.org

Published in Practice Examples
Thursday, 20 October 2016 07:38

ClearCut Communication

Age: 8-18
Sex: n/a
Cost: yes




  • We aim to support young people to understand youth justice processes and interventions with specific resources
  • We provide easy access for professionals to communication friendly resources
  • We aim to highlight to practitioners the type of resources that are needed to support young people through the youth justice system




ClearCut Communication (part of County Durham Youth Offending Service) provide award-winning resources and staff training by combining the expertise of youth justice professionals and a speech and language therapist. We help young people understand the youth justice system. Our work has been recognised with a Butler Trust Award in March 2016. The attached document below will provide you with more information in regards to the five resources, namely:

  • The ClearCut Screen Pack
  • ClearCut Youth Caution
  • The ClearCut Wordbuster
  • ClearCut Going to Court
  • ClearCut Thinking about Victims



Implementing the practice:

  • Every young person who attends County Durham Youth Offending service is screened using the ClearCut screening tool.
  • The ClearCut Youth Caution translation puts the complex official Youth Caution into simple language. Young people receiving a Youth Caution are supported by their case manager in advance of the caution being delivered and during delivery with the ClearCut Youth Caution translation.
  • All case managers carry a Wordbuster to explain youth justice words to young people and their families.
  • All young people due to attend court are supported using the Going to Court resource.
  • The Thinking about Victims resource is used as the primary victim awareness programme within county Durham Youth Offending service. It is completed by a case worker with the young person and the victim Liaison Officer with the victim. Both parties are encouraged to share their work via shuttle mediation.




YOT: Sarah Caden
Name: County Durham Youth Offending Service
Telephone: 03000 265969
Email: sarah.caden@durham.gov.uk



Published in Practice Examples
Tuesday, 27 June 2017 15:30

Desistance,Identity and Belonging

Desistence is a concept at the heart of current thinking in youth justice and a key factor embedded within the AssetPlus framework.

Many YOTs however, have reported not necessarily understanding what ‘desistence’ is and how it impacts upon their work with young offenders.  As such, the question has been asked as how best to support YOTs in understanding and then discussing ‘desistence’ as part of their workforce development?

This short video (25 mins) is a means of providing an informed and valuable context to the subject for practicioners,managers and volunteers working with young people,




We have also attached a proposed group session format for those teams that wish to run training as a group session.

Published in Training Documents
Age: 12-18
Sex: n/a
Cost: none



  • To develop a user-friendly, concise and effective Comprehensive Health Assessment Tool (CHAT) for use in Lancashire, based on health domains identified in the national CHAT
  • To develop and implement a tool that can be used with a young person that allows a non-prescriptive, therapeutic health conversation/assessment to take place in the community Youth Offending Team (YOT)
  • To develop and implement a tool that allows for exploration, using professional judgement, of the young person's individual and diverse health issues and needs




There is increasing recognition of the crucial role of health within a young person's life, and the impact good health and well-being has on the life course outcomes of vulnerable young people who are known to Youth Offending Team services.


A standardised national Comprehensive Health Assessment Tool (CHAT) was introduced to ensure that health needs of all young people are identified and addressed.


A local Lancashire Comprehensive Health Assessment Tool (Lancashire CHAT) has been developed based on the key themes, subjects and relevant health issues highlighted within the national CHAT, but also combined with the locally collated data and documented evidence of the health issues that affect this specific population of young people in Lancashire. It is a user-friendly, short document that can also be used as an aide-memoire during a therapeutic health conversation/ assessment with young people. It allows for exploration, using professional judgement, of the young person's individual health issues and diverse needs. The young person can lead the direction of the conversation and have a chance to voice their concerns in an effective way.


This has led to a standardised tool that also allows the health practitioner to take account of the diverse needs of each young person - this helps to ensure a more cost-effective, reliable and valid quality health-needs assessment.




YOT: Lancashire Youth Offending Team
Name: Julie Cross
Telephone: 01282 470851
Email: Julie.Cross@lancashire.gov.uk
Published in Resources For Sharing
Monday, 04 July 2016 08:55

Emotional Literacy Support Training

Summary: Emotional Literacy Support Training is a 5 day training to enable staff to become Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (so that can support young people experiencing emerging mental health needs).
Age: 5-16
Sex: n/a
Cost: n/a




  • To identify young people with emerging mental health needs and offer a preventative approach to addressing their needs
  • To re-frame and understand behaviours in terms of needs and vulnerabilities
  • To provide the young person with coping strategies to manage their current situation, promote self-efficacy and develop longer-term resilience
  • To reduce referrals through to specialist services in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services by offering early intervention
  • To maintain children and young people in Education, Training and Employment



Emotional Literacy Support Training is a 5 day training programme to enable staff working with children and young people experiencing emerging mental health needs and issues with emotional wellbeing to becomes Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSA's).
ELSAs are trained to deliver individual and small group 6-12 week interventions to promote coping strategies. They cover a range of topics including self-esteem and resilience, emotional literacy, autism, therapeutic stories, early trauma and attachment, understanding anger, loss and bereavement, solution-focused conversations and circle of friends.
The ELSA course is delivered by practising Educational Psychologists who can then offer school-based supervision. Pre and post evaluations of the ELSA course show an increase in staff confidence and competence for working with children and young people with emerging mental health needs.
ELSAs develop relationships with the child or young person through weekly sessions but often also work hard to engage the parent(s).

Implementing the Practice:

  • Check with your local Educational Psychology Services as this training may already exist in your area
  • Participants must commit to all 5 days of the training course
  • Preserving and protecting time for the preventative aspect of the ELSA role (e.g. running groups) rather than falling back into reactive responses to children and young people who are in crisis
  • Facilitating ongoing group supervision to ensure ELSAs feel supported when they get ‘stuck’ and need some creative solutions for supporting a tricky case
  • Encouraging ELSAs to use a pre and post intervention measure to show progress, ensuring evidence of ‘making a difference’



Name: Angela Crossland
E-Mail: angela.crossland@york.gov.uk
01904 554565



Published in Resources For Sharing
Tuesday, 06 December 2016 14:51

Gloucestershire Youth Justice and Liaison Diversion

Age: 10-18
Sex:  n/a
Cost:  none


  • The Liaison and Diversion project is aimed at fostering early identification and intervention with potential offenders.
  • It allows for the earlier identification of any health needs that may be contributing towards offending.



Gloucestershire Youth Offending Team has tailored the Youth Justice Liaison and Diversion scheme to suit its local needs. The process operates on an early identification and brokering basis whereby the specialist Fast Track Team is automatically notified when a young person is arrested. This allows the team to rapidly assess, rank and treat individuals according to their need. In Gloucestershire, we have also recognised through some concentrated work on more prolific and persistent young offenders, that they usually first present to the youth justice system at an early age (10-12 years). Furthermore, as these young people age towards adulthood, some of their underlying health issues can also develop and become increasingly treatment resistant if not tackled at an earlier age.


 Implementing the Practice:

  • Assessments will aim to identify those with mental health, learning, communication difficulties or other vulnerabilities affecting their wellbeing. For those that are not presenting with acute issues the main focus should be community engagement within five working days.
  • Use the information gained from assessments to share with relevant criminal justice agencies to enable key decision makers to make more informed decisions on diversion, charging, case management and sentencing.
  • Ensuring diversionary interventions are proportionate and appropriate, with offenders always diverted into appropriate services and avoiding the unnecessary pathologising of criminal behaviour.



YOT: Gloucestershire Youth Offending Team
Name: Robert England
Telephone: 01452 551266
Email: Robert.England@Gloucestershire.gov.uk
Published in Practice Examples
Wednesday, 15 June 2016 15:03

Ground Rules Hearing Form

Age: 10-17
Sex n/a
Cost n/a




  • The Ground Rules Hearing form records details of a vulnerable person’s specific requirements including input from any intermediary and therapists involved, so that reasonable adjustments can be put in place.




A Ground Rules Hearing is an additional hearing that is built in between the Case Management Hearing (when trial issues are explored and a trial date is fixed) and the trial itself. It exists to ensure that a vulnerable person, who may have communication difficulties or a learning disability, receives a fair hearing and to get the best outcome for them at the trial stage.

The form will assist with the planning of a trial for any vulnerable defendant, victim and witnesses, particularly those who have sensory or communication difficulties including autism, ADHD, Asperger’s Syndrome and Dyspraxia although is not limited to these conditions.
It could also benefit vulnerable court users who are undiagnosed.  




Source Organisation:  Cambridgeshire Youth Court
Name:  Shakila Bukhari
Email:  Shakila.Bukhari@HMCTS.gsi.gov.uk

Published in Resources For Sharing
Summary: A research article describing a Welsh study that examined the effect of Emotion Recognition Training on criminal behaviour.
Age: 10-18
Sex: n/a
Cost: yes




  • The aim of the training was to improve the perception of emotional expressions in young people who participated in the emotion recognition training.
  • The study established that emotion recognition training could have a positive effect in reducing the offending behaviour of young people who have committed anti-social acts and have aggressive behaviour.


Attached is a research article describing a study that examined the effect of emotion recognition training on criminal behaviour. Fifty young men aged 12-18 took part in the study. All were receiving statutory interventions from Cardiff or the Vale of Glamorgan Youth Offending Services during the study.

A group of young people participated the facial affect training (aimed at improving emotional recognition). The study found that prior to the training there was no differences in the groups in their recognition of certain emotions. However after the training, fear, sadness and anger recognition improved significantly in the young people. Crime rates dropped for all those taking part in the study in the six months following the training. However, only the group that received the emotion recognition training showed a significant reduction in the severity of the crimes committed.


Implementing the Practice:

  • In order to support young people with the training, practitioners will need to complete training in Facial Emotional Recognition programme
  • Practitioners will need to be experienced in the adapted version of the Facial Affect Recognition (FAR) computer programme, which can be achieved through the training
  • Pre and post training questionnaires need to be implemented in order to identify positive improvement




Organisation: YJB Cymru
Name: Sue Thomas
Telephone: 01792 478379
Email: Sue.thomas@yjb.gsi.gov.uk
Source Organisation: School of Psychology - Cardiff University
Name: Professor Stephanie Van Goozen
Email: VangoozenS@cardiff.ac.uk

Published in Resources For Sharing
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