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YOT - A criminal justice multi-agency public organisation supervising young people who are also young offenders (and working with their parents / carers and their victims).
We aim to prevent young people from offending or re-offending. We do this by developing consistent and effective responses to youth crime.
If you are interested in volunteering opportunities at the YOT, there are several options available.
Please see the Bristol YOT volunteering information page for more details and to complete an application form.
If you wish to attend the YOT for research or other purposes, please see the Bristol YOT visits or research information page to complete a request form.
Please note that opportunities are very limited. Student placements can only be considered if they are arranged via universities or colleges.
We work together with young people in the criminal justice system
Our team is made up of workers from a range of organisations including the city council, the police, the health service and the probation service.
- Responding to police reprimands and final warnings.
- Providing appropriate adults - trained adult volunteers who accompany young people who are in police custody and whose parents are unavailable.
- Attending and reporting to courts dealing with young people. Our reports provide information and professional opinion to help the courts deliver swift and well-informed justice.
- Providing bail support and supervision for young people awaiting sentence.
- Supervising young people serving their sentence in the community including intensive supervision surveillance programmes (ISSP).
- >Supervising and staying in contact with young people in custody.
- Showing offenders the impact of their offending by involving them with victims and, where possible, arranging for them to make good the result of their crimes.
- By including them in what we do and supporting them to understand and respond to their responsibilities.
- Offering Voluntary Parenting interventions to provide support.
We've developed strong partnerships across the city to help prevent offending. This type of work is called Diversion. We are involved in a range of initiatives like:
- Youth Inclusion Programmes - helping young people to play a positive part in their communities
We've also developed our own approaches to preventing offending. These include:
- Opening Doors Project (external link) - addressing the drug and mental health problems that lead to offending.
For information about our services, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Freedom of information requests can be made via: email@example.com
Youth Inclusion Projects (YIP's)
The Youth Justice Board originally established YIPs in 2000, and independent evaluations of the programme have proven this approach to be effective in reducing arrest rates and offending within the core group.
YIPs target young people who are considered to be most at risk of offending, but also work to engage other young people in the local area. YIPs aim to reduce youth crime and anti-social behaviour in the neighbourhoods in which they work.
Young people on the YIP are identified through a number of different agencies, including:
- the YOT
- children and family services
- local education authorities or schools
- neighbourhood wardens and
- anti-social behaviour teams.
Young people and their families engage with the YIP on a voluntary basis.
The project gives young people somewhere safe to go where they can:
- earn new skills
- take part in activities with others and
- get support with their education and careers guidance.
YIP workers and mentors help to change young people's attitudes to crime and anti-social behaviour, and address those factors that put young people at risk of involvement in offending or anti-social behaviour.
- To engage with a high proportion of the core group, especially those members deemed most at risk within the group.<
- To address the risk factors and enhance the protective factors, for the young people with whom it is working.<
- To increase access for engaged young people to mainstream and specialist services, especially in relation to education, training and employment.
- To intervene, not just on an individual level, but with communities and families (especially the parents of the core group).
Each YIP is funded annually by the YJB through YOT prevention grants, and this funding is supplemented by sharing resources with other local agencies. In many areas, programmes also ;get resources from other funding streams (such as Neighbourhood Renewal) which share our aim of reducing crime and supporting communities.
YIPs in Bristol
Henbury Youth Inclusion Project (YIP) is a programme for young people who are at high risk of involvement in crime or anti-social behaviour. ;The Henbury project is a Senior YIP; working with a core group of twenty-five young people aged 12 to 17.
Henbury YIP is funded by the Safer Bristol Partnership and managed by Bristol Youth Offending Team.
Open sessions currently run on the following days and are for all young people aged 12 to17.
Manic Monday - Monday from 5pm to 8pm.
Wicked Wednesday - Wednesday from 3:30pm to 6pm.
No booking required, just turn up and have fun!
Targeted prevention of youth crime and anti-social behaviour
One of the best and most cost-effective ways to reduce youth crime is to prevent young people from getting into trouble in the first place, by dealing with the problems that make it more likely they will commit crime or anti-social behaviour.
The following programmes aim to deal with risk factors, engage young people’s interests and increase their knowledge. See the documents on the right hand side of this page for more information on the following preventions.
- Youth Inclusion Programmes.
- Youth Inclusion and Support Panels.
- Parenting interventions.
- Safer School Partnerships.
Who's involved at this stage?
- Local Education Authority.
- Social Services.
When young people first get into trouble, behave anti-socially or commit minor offences, they can usually be dealt with by the police and local authority, outside of the court system, using a variety of orders and agreements. This is to stop young people getting sucked into the Youth Justice System too early, while still offering them the help and support they need to stop offending.
For more information please see the links listed below.
Who's involved at this stage?
- Local Authority.
When a young person is charged with an offence, they will appear before the youth court. If the case cannot be dealt with immediately, the court will make a decision as to whether the young person will be bailed or remanded into custody.
If a young person pleads not guilty, a date will be set for the trial when the magistrates will hear all the evidence and decide whether or not the young person is guilty. If the decision is guilty, they will then decide on the most appropriate sentence.
If the case is very serious, the youth court will send the case to the Crown Court for trial and/or sentence.
- Youth Rehabilitation Order.
- Referral Order.
- Reparation Order
- Conditional Discharge.
- Absolute Discharge.
The following orders only apply to those young people who committed an offence before November 30, 2009. They have been replaced by, and are now a part of, the Youth Rehabilitation Order:
- Supervision Order.
- Community Rehabilitation Order.
- Community Punishment Order.
- Action Plan Order.
- Attendance Centre Order.
- Detention and Training Order.
- Section 90/91.
Who's involved at this stage?
- Youth Court.
- Crown Court.
- Crown Prosecution Service.
Sentences to custody
See the links on the site of the page for more information.
The Courts Team represents the YOT in court. It recruits and manages remand foster carers and works with remanded and sentenced prisoners at Ashfield Young Offenders Institution.
What is the Courts Team?
- It's a small team consisting of a team manager, court officer and a co-ordinator to recruit; train and support remand foster carers and appropriate adult volunteers.
- The team also has a senior practitioner; two remand workers and a probation officer based at Ashfield Young Offenders Institution.
What does the Courts Team do?
- Provides a court duty service to criminal courts in Bristol and surrounding areas.
- Prepares pre-sentence reports as ordered by courts about young people from Bristol.
- Recruits and manages remand foster carers and appropriate adult volunteers
- Provides a remand review service at Ashfield Youth Offenders Institution to arrange, where appropriate the discharge of young people to community remand placements.
What is involved in court work?
The Courts Team represents the YOT in court and:
- advises the courts and presents pre-sentence reports
- explains YOT services and possible sentence options, including bail and secure placements
- assists and advises young people and their families, helping them to understand the process and communicate with the court
- managing the YOT's relationship with the courts
- taking action against young people who breach their supervision
Members work closely with other parts of the Youth Offending Team. This includes providing advice on legal and court matters.
There is a close relationship with the YOT's Bail Support foster and Supervision Service. When a young person is at risk of custodial remand, court officers and bail workers work together to prevent bail information to the courts.
What does the team do at Ashfield Young Offenders Institution?
- We have four members of staff at Ashfield: A Probation Officer senior practitioner, Probation Officer and two remand workers.
- Seconded YOT staff work with sentenced and remand prisoners.
- Our work with sentenced prisoners includes contributing to the sentence planning process, delivery of group work programmes, complete parole and other reports, and working with young people at risk in a custodial setting. Facilitating liaison between the prison and YOTs outside Bristol is an important element of our work.
- Our work with remanded prisoners has a particular focus on reviewing the reasons for the remand and where appropriate liasing with the home YOT to facilitate a bail application. For those who remain on remand at Ashfield, remand staff assist with the planning and review process and assist with group work programmes.
For more information about our work at Ashfield telephone 0117 903 6480.
What is the Appropriate Adult Scheme?
- A scheme providing trained adult volunteers to accompany young people who are in police custody and whose parents are unavailable.
- The scheme currently has 26 volunteers.
- Last year they attended 268 interviews with young people.
Could you consider becoming a volunteer with us? To find out more telephone 0117 903 6480
What is a Remand Foster Carer?
Many young people in trouble with the law have nowhere to live. This can be the reason they got in trouble or why they find it difficult to change their behaviour.
We need people to provide temporary homes for young people in this situation. We're looking for people who are:
- experienced in parenting, caring or working with young people aged 10 to 17
- flexible and willing to provide a home for a young person at short notice in a spare bedroom
- able to work with a young person in a crisis
- available during the day or have a partner who can be available and
- willing to be trained, supported and work as part of a professional team.
What support is provided?
- Our carers are motivated by concern for young people and a commitment to helping them break away from crime and make a success of their lives.
- To do an effective job they also need support and payment.
- We offer a full range of support, training and fees.
To find out more about remand fostering carer telephone 0117 903 6480.
ISS is the most rigorous non custodial alternative available for young offenders.
What is Intensive Supervision and Surveillance (ISS)?
ISS is a mixture of punishment and positive opportunities, which provides the courts an alternative to custody.
ISS targets the most active repeat young offenders, and those who commit the most serious crimes. This can include those who have committed a serious single offence for example robbery or grievous bodily harm. It covers the age range 10 to 17.
Young offenders can be considered for ISSP if they appear in court for an offence that could lead to imprisonment and before their current charges have:
- been warned or charged on four or more occasions in the last 12 months for an offence that can carry a custodial sentence
- received a community or custodial sentence in the past.
Intensive Supervision and Surveillance is available as:
- condition of bail where the young person is at risk of remand into custody
- a requirement attached to a YRO
- a condition of a Notice of Supervision on release from custody.
Intensive Supervision should always contain the following core elements:
- education, training or employment
- restorative justice
- offending behaviour
- family support
- interpersonal skills.
ISSP has two elements - supervision and surveillance.
Supervision involves an assessment of the offender's background, behaviour and needs and a programme of contact time including evening and weekend support. Contact time will include:
- education and training - this work is being linked to the ASDAN certification to recognise achievements, improve offenders' self-awareness and readiness for adult life
- work to tackle offending behaviour
- reparation to victims and/or the community
- assistance in developing interpersonal and social skills
- family support.
Surveillance is a key element of ISSP and young offenders on the programme are aware their behaviour is being closely monitored. Surveillance also reassures the wider community.
Surveillance is tailored to individual cases and can include:
- Tracking - regular contact with the young offender, accompanying them to activities and appointments.
- Tagging - electronic monitoring, for example to reinforce a night curfew.
- Voice verification - The young offender's "voice print" is checked by telephone at specified times to ensure the young person is where they are supposed to be.
- Intelligence-led policing - The police monitor the movements of young offenders at key times
The minimum requirement is for two surveillance checks per day, but this can be increased to 24-hour monitoring.
Enforcement is key to making ISSP work and providing reassurance to the community.
ISSP is designed to make sure young offenders complete the programme.
If there is noncompliance young offenders can be returned to court for further sentencing.
We offer quality NVQs in Youth Justice Awards. The Assessment Centre is approved by City and Guilds to offer the Level 3 and 4 Youth Justice. Candidates interested in achieving and NVQ must currently work within the Youth Justice Sectors. They may be paid or voluntary workers.
As an assessment centre we are committed to ensuring that our work will enhance the quality of service provision throughout the Youth Justice Sector in England. Through planning, implementing, reviewing and evaluation we help to promote quality NVQ assessments in Youth Justice.
Aims of the Centre
- To facilitate access to NVQ in Youth Justice.
- To provide a structure for the support of candidates, assessors and verifiers.
- To promote quality assessments of competence through the NVQ awards.
- To ensure that all work carried out is done so with dignity and respect for all participates.
- Confidentiality is adhered to at all time.
- Protection of rights of individual agencies service users.
The NVQ process
If you are interested in the NVQ we will work with your employer in the following way:
- Identify the level of award you wish to pursue.
- Identify candidates and match to assessor.
- Register candidate with City and Guilds.
- Induct candidate to the BYOT Centre and the Youth Justice award.
- The BYOT Centre provides ongoing support through the NVQ.
- Candidate achieves NVQ.
Interested, then contact the centre on 0117 9036480 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who we are
BYOT Centre was set up in 2005 to provide unqualified youth justice workers and route to becoming and YOT practitioner. We could not find a centre to deliver the NVQ so we had no choice but to become a centre. It was one of the best decisions we made.
Michele Burleigh is an Operational Manager and Training Manager at Bristol YOT and is a qualified Assessor and Internal Verifier. She is also the Quality Assurance Coordinator for BYOT centre. Michele has been working in Youth Justice since 1999 and within management since 2001.
Currently the centre has six A1 qualified assessor and one Internal Verifier.
Frequently asked questions
Q. Why work towards my NVQ?
A. Candidates who undertake NVQs will have an opportunity to have their abilities and skills assessed as competent. NVQ also provide the candidate with an opportunity to apply for qualified posts. In some YOTs, NVQ level 4 is sited as a acceptable qualification to become a YOT practitioner.
Q. Why would Agencies support staff working towards an NVQ?
A. Agencies that are striving to gain recognition for providing a supportive programme of staff development can use NVQ achieive as evidence of their commitment to investment in their people. NVQs can assist the supervision and appraisal processes and can enable managers to assess and support staff from an objective set of occupational standards that define competent practice.
Q. What about funding?
A. There is currently no funding. If any pots of funding is identified by the centre we place information in the links page.
Q. Do I have to go to colleague?
A. No. BYOT centre has develop an 2 day course with University of the West England (UWE) that runs twice a year that provides NVQ candidates with the basic underpinning knowledge required for the level 3 or 4. It is not mandatory to attend but past candidates have found it invaluable to their work and own development. It is free to all NVQ candidates registered on the Youth Justice Awards. Bristol YOT also has a yearly training manual, that training staff in Asset, PSR and most key performance areas. This is also free to all NVQ candidates registered on the Youth Justice Award.
Q. What kind of work do I need to be doing?
A. NVQ candidates must be work in youth justice as assessment of competence is based upon ‘real work’.
Q. Can I just complete some units or do I have to complete a whole Award?
A. Candidates may register for a complete Award - ten Units of competence are assessed for Level 3 – and eleven at level 4. Register for individual units, reflecting areas of specialism in their work role can also be done.
Q. How long does it take?
A. Candidates are supported by the Assessment Centre for twelve months. Candidates must be in their work role for a minimum of six months prior to registration.
Q. What qualifications do I need to have to get on the NVQ?
A. There is not required qualification for the NVQ but it is useful to have complete the YJB Professional Certificate of Effective Practice.
Bristol Youth Offending Team Kenham House Wilder Street Bristol, BS2 8PD