We are Wolverhampton Youth Offending Team, a co-located multi-agency team with a holistic approach to working with children, young people, adults and their families.
We work with children aged 10 to 18 who are involved in the criminal justice system, from early stages of intervention in pre-court disposals to intensive orders (up to 25 hours per week) and custodial sentences. In addition, we write reports that are used by the courts to help them sentence young people and we work with the victims of crime using Restorative Justice approaches to where ever possible to facilitate the process of mediation and to repair the harm caused.
In supervising young people who have offended we have to balance the wellbeing of young people with managing risk to the community. Central to our approach and intervention is the understanding of what our young people have experienced in their lives, in particular the impact of trauma on their development, as a response to intense or chronic stress factors. Our work focuses on trauma-informed practice, which balances the need to create boundaries for their behaviour; promote desistence from future offending whilst protecting people from harm.
The child’s individual needs: We complete comprehensive assessments using ASSETPLUS, which seeks to identify risks of harm; likelihood of reoffending and Safety & wellbeing concerns, leading to providing personal intervention plans that respond to young people’s individual needs & risks. We recognise that young people who have experienced inconsistent and unstable environments have sometimes not developed good problem-solving skills and impulse control and we work with them to help them learn and practise new skills. We try to help them regulate the behaviour that might have arisen from their experience of trauma, by teaching them to recognise their triggers and responses according to a ‘fight or flight’ mechanism when they are in situations they perceive as threatening.
- The family: We work with families in order to try to support them to achieve stability in the home environment. Engaging with parents/carers encourages a consistent approach to parenting and also explores some of the difficulties they might be experiencing as a family on a wider perspective.
- School/college: One of our primary aims is to support children and young people into education, training or employment. Many of the young people we work with are not engaged in constructive use of their time and we acknowledge that this is a major contributor to risk of offending.
- Liaison with other agencies: We work in partnership with the court; our colleagues in Social Care; Health; Police; Education providers and any other agencies or voluntary group involved in a child’s life so that a joined-up approach is maintained.
- Interventions: We use a range of interventions with our young people, including tailored programmes on subjects such as knife crime awareness, car crime, managing anger, social media awareness, healthy relationships. We also cover victim awareness and direct or indirect reparation to a victim or to the community in placements such as the YOT allotments, or Albrighton Moat, or by carpentry to make items for charitable purposes.
Wolverhampton SEND Support in youth custody
The Special educational needs and disability code of practice 0 – 25 years’ (SEND code) sets out rights to children and young people in custody.
These rights include:
- The right to keep an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC) plan on hold while being detained.
- Having special provision as set out in the EHC Plan continued during custody (including health).
- The right to request an EHC Plan while detained.
For children and young people in youth custody, arrangements for carrying out the health part of Education, Health and Care needs assessments and arranging for the health provision will be slightly different. This is because NHS England is responsible for young people in custody. .
The Youth Offending Service is a good first point of contact if you are a parent of a child in custody or are a young person in custody and want to take forward the rights in relation to Special Educational Needs.
How do I give a compliment or make a complaint?
Youth Offending Team follows Wolverhampton City Council’s complaints and compliments procedure.