The Youth Offending Service (YOS) is key to the success of the Youth Justice System. There is a Youth Offending Service in every local authority in Wales and England; it is a one-stop shop for 10–17 year olds at risk of, or involved in offending behaviour, providing effective supervision so that they face the consequences of their offending.
Locally, the service brings together staff from a wide range of organisations including the local authority, police, probation service, health, and specialist project workers. By working together, sharing knowledge, skills and experience, we aim to help young people make the right life choices and reduce youth offending.
The Blaenau Gwent and Caerphilly Youth Offending Service (YOS) works in partnership to address anti-social behaviour. We recognise the adverse impact anti-social behaviour can have on everyone in a community – both adults and children – and the importance of addressing such behaviour. Our role is central to making lasting differences in the lives of young people and communities where anti-social behaviour exists.
Services are provided as follows:
- Early intervention and prevention
The Final Warning is a way of dealing with offences committed by young people aged 10-17. It can be given by a police officer if a young person admits their guilt for a first or second offence, provided that the offence is not so serious that it needs to go to court. Also, children and young people who work with the Youth Offending Service are given the opportunity to develop new skills and interests through a variety of leisure programmes designed to help build their self-respect, general health, self-esteem and leadership skills.
- Court and assessment
We provide appropriate adult services to support advise and assist young people under the age of 17 who have been detained at the police station. We report to court to assist in the sentencing process and attend scheduled, non scheduled and emergency courts in relation to youths. We also manage those youths placed on bail supervision in the community and support and advise young people who misuse drugs or alcohol.
- Community supervision
Young people on Court Orders have an allocated Community Supervision Case Manager who ensures that the plan of work and programme devised at the start of the order is completed by the time the order ends.When a young person is sentenced to custody, planning and regular review meetings are held in custodial establishments for all young people under the age of 18. Parents are invited to these and if possible the Case Manager will offer to give parents/carers a lift to the meeting.
- Intensive Supervision and Surveillance Programme (ISSP)
This is the most rigorous non-custodial intervention available for young offenders. ISSP targets the most active repeat young offenders and those who commit the most serious crimes.
The programme aims to:
- reduce the frequency and seriousness of offending in the target groups
- tackle the underlying needs of offenders which give rise to offending, with a particular emphasis on education and training
- provide reassurance to communities through close surveillance backed up by rigorous enforcement
Most young people will spend six months on ISSP. On completion of ISSP the young person will continue to be supervised by the YOS for the remaining period of their order.
For further infromation call ISSP on 01495 231351.
- Education and parenting
The Youth Offending Service works with Inclusion Services, schools, colleges, training providers and custodial units to try and ensure that young people involved in offending get access to the best quality education that is available. Working in partnership with Local Authority staff, including Placements Officers, Psychologists and the Education Welfare Service, the Youth Offending Service provide detailed specialist assessments and interventions that can assist in addressing problem behaviour. The unique relationship that the Youth Offending Service Officers share with young people makes it possible to engage with those who have proved otherwise 'unreachable'.
- Victims of youth crime
Restorative Justice processes give victims of youth crime the chance to tell children and young people the real impact of their crime, to get answers to their questions and to get an apology.
- Youth Inclusion and Support Panel (YISP)
This is a multi-agency planning group that aims to prevent offending and anti-social behaviour by offering support services to 8 – 15 year olds and their families. YISP ensures that they receive, at the earliest opportunity, mainstream services plus support from voluntary and community groups to meet their needs such as education and training, social services, youth services, health and substance misuse. For more information about YISP, call 01495 235639 or email email@example.com.
If you would like any further information or advice about the Blaenau Gwent and Caerphilly Youth Offending Service, call 01495 235623 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.