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

Summary: The Youth Justice Skills Matrix identifies the core skills needed when working with children within the justice system.




This Matrix is designed for the whole of the Youth Justice Workforce and can be used for job descriptions, appraisals, training needs analysis and restructures and is mapped to National Occupational Standards. It will be reviewed regularly to ensure that it includes new areas of skills.


The Matrix covers 8 areas:

  •  Child and Adolescent development - implications for YJ 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


It is divided into five different levels:

  1. Head of service, Deputy/Assistant Director, Governors, YJ management boards
  2. Team leader, Middle manager
  3. Senior Practitioner, Senior specialist worker
  4. Practitioner, specialist worker
  5. Entry level