What we do and apply to volunteer with us.

What we do

We work with young people who get into trouble with the law, helping them to stay away from crime. We:

The team includes workers from different organisations including the council, police, health service and probation service.

Young people are put in touch with the Youth Justice Service by the police or the courts. 

The Turnaround Programme

The Turnaround Programme is a new project in England and Wales. It supports young people at risk of entering the youth justice system.

Youth Justice Support Workers from Bristol Youth Justice Service, previously known as Bristol Youth Offending Team, offer a positive mentoring relationship to help children and young people think through their needs.

Our Youth Justice Support Workers will create a plan with children and their families to address these needs and make positive changes.

We can offer support around:

  • education
  • job skills
  • hobbies and activities
  • life skills, for example cooking
  • learning different ways to manage emotions
  • thinking of ways to manage social situations with relationships and friendships
  • linking children and their families with other services that can help if needed

Turnaround eligibility criteria

Children aged 10 to 17 are eligible for the Turnaround programme if they:

    • have come to notice of agencies with enforcement powers for repeated involvement in anti-social behaviour (ASB)
    • have been involved in anti-social behaviour and have received:
      • Community Protection Warning/Notice (CPW/N)
      • Acceptable Behaviour Contract (ABC)
      • Civil Order for ASB
    • are interviewed under caution following arrest or are attending a voluntary interview subject to a criminal investigation
    • are subject to No Further Action (NFA) decision (including Outcome 22)
    • are subject to a Community Resolution (Outcome 8)
    • are receiving a first-time youth caution, not including conditional caution
    • are released under investigation (RUI) or subject to pre-charge bail (PCB)
    • are discharged by a court
    • are acquitted at court
    • are fined by a court
    • receive a conditional discharge from a court

In addition, the following criteria apply:

    • referrals must be made within three months of a child meeting the eligibility criteria, to make sure Turnaround meets its aim of early intervention
    • children referred to Turnaround are not eligible if they have an open Early Help plan with a package of co-ordinated multi-agency whole family support or a Families First plan in Wales: children with multiple or complex needs may have support from several agencies and be an open case to Early Help (England), Families First (Wales), or another existing multi-agency programme of support
    • once a child has received support through the Turnaround Programme, they are not eligible for support funded through the programme again
    • YOTs have the discretion to use Turnaround funding to fund interventions for cases that are open as children in need (CIN), though if doing so they should make sure Turnaround funding is only used to fund Turnaround support and interventions; mechanisms should be in place to guard against funding being used to fund statutory duties
    • children open to child protection plans, children looked after and children leaving care are not eligible for Turnaround, as the programme is not intended to replace or supplement existing Children's Services funding and arrangements for higher threshold cases
    • children referred to Turnaround are not eligible if they've previously been on the YOT statutory caseload, regardless of the length of time since the case was open
    • children who have received their first verbal or written warning for involvement in ASB are not eligible for Turnaround

To find out more about this programme:

  • email Rachel Davies, Prevention and Diversion Co-ordinator, Bristol Youth Justice Service: rachel.davies@bristol.gov.uk
  • call 0117 903 6480

Apply to be a volunteer

Apply Online

If there are not any current opportunities to become a volunteer, we'll keep your details and contact you before the next round of training.

Volunteer roles

Appropriate Adult

Young people under 18 must have an Appropriate Adult with them when police interview them about a crime.

If a parent or carer cannot be there, we'll get a skilled volunteer.

The volunteer makes sure:

  • the police are acting fairly
  • the child's welfare needs are met
  • the child understands the process

Find about the role of Appropriate Adult on GOV.UK.

Appropriate Adult volunteers must be at least 22 years old and live in Bristol, South Gloucestershire or Bath.

You'll get training and we'll pay your expenses.

If you'd like to find out more about this role, email the Appropriate Adult Coordinator, Julie Guest: yjs@bristol.gov.uk

Community Panel Member

Community Panel Members: not recruiting 

As of March 2024, we are at full capacity with Community Panel Members and are not recruiting for this position at this time.

Check back in the future, as positions may become available.

Community Panels are held for children who have been sentenced to a Referral Order. They aim to help young people take responsibility for their actions and reduce re-offending.

Community Panel Member volunteers lead these meetings and agree a behaviour contract with the young person, their family and the Youth Justice Service practitioner.

You must be at least 18 years old and live in Bristol.

You'll get training and we'll pay your travel expenses.

If you'd like to find out more about this role, email the Referral Order Coordinator, Theresa Larke: yjs@bristol.gov.uk

We cannot accept applications from Police Officers, Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) or Magistrates who sit in Bristol, as there's potential conflict of interest.

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