What is youth justice?

Provided by social work and in partnership with others

This is an illustration of youth justice services provided by social work and in partnership with others. The strategic planning for North Lanarkshire is managed by the youth justice forum. The forum's strategic approach includes universal and targeted services across the range of intervention from prevention to intensive intervention.

Much of this has been done on a corporate basis to ensure consistency of planning and development.

  • A range of interventions and programmes including those from the "What Works" agenda are delivered on an individual and group work basis by young persons support units and related services. Youth Crime Review resources have supported these projects by the provision of on-line facilities and access to teaching and learning packages.
  • Collaborative working between social work and education has led to a number of initiatives which promote inclusiveness of vulnerable young people. This includes the joining an amalgamation of social work day unit and day assessment unit with network support teams to provide a holistic approach to young people in trouble. An inclusion base was set up to raise basic education attainment of young people in foster care and residential units through use of the "success maker" package. A number of protocols and strategies have been developed to reduce school exclusion and promote social inclusion.
  • Through a bid to New Opportunities Fund, education, community services and social work have provided a service (Active Steps) to promote the role of sport in diverting young people aged 5-16 from crime or behaviour likely to lead to crime.
  • Partnership working between community services and social work has targeted a number of young people with an offending profile participating in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. This has proven successful and has been extended throughout the authority. The target group is young people who offend, are at risk of offending or have been released from custody or secure care with the aim of achieving an accredited qualification.
  • North Lanarkshire has commissioned a Video Interactive Guidance Project (VIG). The project will work with young people aged 14-21 with challenging offending behaviour. VIG is a way of reviewing positive video clips of successful communication with clients with the aim of activating them in their own change. This model can be used in different settings and it is envisaged that it will extend to early intervention work with families in terms of improving relationships, which in turn impacts positively upon many areas of life and behaviour.
  • In a joint initiative with South Lanarkshire we have commissioned SACRO to extend a reparation and mediation service for 11 to 18 year olds.

Tackling and reducing offending behaviour

  • Youth justice teams have been developed within each geographical area of the authority. This will provide a more focused service targeting youth crime and developing services that addresses local needs. The teams work with young people aged 14-21 years involved in offending behaviour.
  • Programmes based on the "What Works" agenda are utilised within North Lanarkshire. This means interventions, which are evidence based and effective, focus sing on offending behaviour, motivation and attributes, victim empathy, responsibility and consequence.
  • A new restorative justice service focusing on young people has been established. This scheme has a strong emphasis on reparation. It has been developed in conjunction with partnership agencies, community safety forum and victim organisations. This work will be undertaken by a team of staff which will include a co-ordinator restorative justice and group workers.
  • The Council have also commissioned a group conferencing service as an additional restorative justice service.
  • Barnardos and North Lanarkshire Chosi project offers a range of intensive services for young people 14-18. The aims of the project are to prevent 16/17 year olds progressing into the adult justice system by offering alternative options via children's hearing systems and to prevent young people 14 plus from being placed in secure accommodation.
  • North and South Lanarkshire have also purchased from Includem intensive intervention services for update young persistent offenders. This service includes a 24 hour helpline and peer mediation.

Youth Court Pilot
North and South Lanarkshire are piloting a youth court for 16 and 17 year olds. As resources to this initiative, North Lanarkshire has introduced and or commissioned:

  • Three dedicated social workers to service the needs of the youth court
  • Two placement coaches who will provide intensive motivational support to young people on youth court orders.
  • Group work services will provide structured programmes with a particular focus upon young female offenders.
  • Remand Fostering Scheme which will be an alternative to custody whereby with support and young people on remand will be placed in a specialist fostering placement outwith their community.
A to Z of services