Norfolk Youth Offending Team
The Youth Offending Team is a multi-agency team with social workers, police and probation officers, parenting workers and nurses complementing the work of the youth justice workers and officers.
The team also includes three education, training and employment workers who co-ordinate the work to encourage young people to re-engage with education, training and employment (ETE), alongside the caseworker and link with the ETE providers.
What do we do?
The Norfolk Youth Offending team has an important presence in court to support young people and to make recommendations to magistrates or the judge as to the most appropriate sentence, often through a formal report.
Norfolk Youth Offending team works with young people sentenced to a community disposal by the Youth Courts or by a Crown Court.
The team do this by delivering:
- Interventions one to one both at home and at our four offices in King’s Lynn, Thetford, Norwich and Great Yarmouth.
- Some groups sessions
- A Junior Attendance Centre every Saturday
- Interventions following a Youth Conditional Caution
Young people are also often sentenced to ‘reparation’ which involves unpaid work with a focus on giving something back to the community, and in appropriate circumstances directly making good the damage they have caused.
The team are also a key link between a young person in custody and their home area and supervise them on release.
What about prevention?
We have a prevention strand which delivers short interventions to divert young people from cautions or court appearances. If this follows a referral from the police after arrest or interview, it is known as Challenge for Change, but much prevention work is also delivered as part of an Early Help package.
Which Young Offender Institutions (YOIs) do young people from Norfolk get sent to?
Young people from Norfolk who are sent to custody are normally sent to:
- HM Young Offender Institution, Cookham Wood in Kent
- HM Young Offender Institution, Wetherby (West Norfolk young people and very vulnerable young people with mental health difficulties)
Those in need of additional support and girls (who are never sent to Young Offender Institutions) go to Secure Training Centres:
- Oakhill Secure Training Centre in Milton Keynes
- Medway Secure Training Centre in Kent
For our youngest detained children and young people, there are Secure Children’s Homes. The nearest to Norfolk is in Lincolnshire.
How do we work with YOIs, secure training centres and secure children’s homes?
The Norfolk Youth Offending Team works closely with custodial establishments to ensure that all information relating to a young person’s health, safety and education are shared. This is to enable the young person to make progress whilst in custody and build on this once they have returned to the community.
In addition to this Norfolk YOT have a shared strategy with Norfolk Children’s Service’s to enable young people on custodial sentences to be assessed for Education, Health and Care plans, if deemed appropriate. This process helps identify areas of unmet learning need which may have contributed to the young person’s offending behaviour.