Youth Justice Skills Matrix - Youth Justice Board (March 2021)

Summary: Access to the youth justice skills matrix, which identifies the core skills needed by staff for working with children in the justice system.




The Youth Justice Board has published the youth justice skills and knowledge matrix (2021).  The matrix is designed for the whole of the youth justice workforce and can be used for job descriptions, appraisals, training needs analysis and restructures.  It is mapped to the National Occupational Standards.


Note: The YJ Skills Matrix is being reviewed to align with Child First and will be amended in 2023.


The Matrix covers 8 areas:

  •  Child and Adolescent development - implications for youth justice practice; 
  •  Effective communication and engagement with young people, families and carers;
  •  Assessment and identification of strengths and risks to foster positive outcomes;
  •  Prepare, deliver, implement, monitor and evaluate interventions and promote reflective practice;
  •  Multi-agency and sharing information;
  •  Risk of reoffending and risk of harm;
  •  Supporting effective transitions in the youth justice system; 
  •  Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of the child or young person.


and is divided into five different levels:

  • Head of service, Deputy/Assistant Director, Governors, youth justice management boards;
  • Team leader, middle manager;
  • Senior practitioner, senior specialist worker;
  • Practitioner, specialist worker;
  • Entry level.