Virtual Sessions with Children – Calderdale Youth Justice Service and Young People Service (April 2020)

Summary: Calderdale Youth Service has developed a variety of virtual offers for children using What- App video and other social media platforms, to continue to support and engage children during COVID-19.


  • Continue to support and engage children through COVID-19 through the use of virtual platforms.


Calderdale Youth Service has developed a virtual offer for children using What- App video and other social media platforms. They have developed virtual drop-in sessions using ‘Zoom for Clubs’ across the borough and a Youth Service Newsletter has been produced sharing thoughts and feelings with the children during COVID-19.

All 1-1 work with children has continued across the whole service but has been moved to online, telephone or social media contact.
Calderdale Youth Justice Service have also developed a partnership offer of activity displayed in the attachment below. This is being shared through an online platform (Orange Box Social Media). This includes various ‘drop in’ virtual sessions to support the children to have access to appropriate and relevant services.
Calderdale Youth Justice Service has been able to deliver in partnership a programme of detached work across Calderdale with support from West Yorkshire Police and Calderdale Warden Service.

The core aim is to support and encourage children to maintain governmental and NHS advice and ‘stay at home’ message and encourage children to return home when seen in the community. The partnership also aims to highlight those families and children most at risk and make appropriate referrals to Police and Social Services.

The approach of the partnership is ‘Engagement, Education, Empowerment, Enforcement’ – Young people are engaged (whilst observing social distancing) provided with the information and asked to consider the consequences of actions not only to themselves but to the wider community and family / carers. If this doesn’t work details would be taken and logged if further breaches occurred (this would be done by the Police or the Wardens).

Implementing the practice:

  • The strong partnerships were already in place prior to COVID-19, which allowed for the service to be flexible quickly.
  • Detached youth workers work daily shifts across specific areas.
  • Information about individuals is shared in the multiagency partnership daily briefing and actioned to the appropriate Service.
  • The approach undertaken is supported by the Community Safety Executive and runs along the lines of other thematic partnership ‘Task and Finish’ subgroups.
  • The Service has purchased Licences for Zoom and ensuring robust management of the platform with designated Zoom host- manging the ‘Waiting Room’ and control / security features of the site to ensure appropriate use and engagement.

Note: Calderdale Youth Justice Service is member of South and West Yorkshire Resettlement Consortium.


Youth justice service: Calderdale Youth Justice Service and Young People Service
Name: Jeff Rafter