Somerset Youth Offending Team (YOT) aims to reduce youth offending. Most of the work of the team is with young people aged 10 to 18 who have been arrested by the police for a crime.
They also work with families and carers, with victims of the young people concerned, and with their communities. The team includes social workers, psychologists, drugs workers, parenting workers, restorative workers, education workers and volunteers.
The team is committed to working with all young people, their parents and carers and victims without discrimination because of race, gender, sexual orientation or disability.
They want to help support each young person living in Somerset to have the best possible chance of achieving their potential.
The Youth Offending Service’s Community Involvement Team is looking for volunteers
- To act as an Appropriate Adult in support of either a juvenile or a vulnerable adult detainee and to ensure that the detained person you are acting for understands what is happening to them and why
- Panel Volunteers to work with other Panel Members and the Youth Offending Service Youth Justice Practitioners to devise individual and imaginative programmes of work to address young people’s offending behaviour
For more information phone 01458 440820
You can find out more about the work of the Somerset Youth Offending Team on the Somerset County Council website.
Important changes – Special educational needs (SEN) and Children and Young People in Youth Custody
From 1 April 2015 the changes brought in by the new Special education needs and disabilities (SEND) Code of Practice apply also to children and young people with special educational needs who are in youth custody.
The new legal changes give children and young people with SEN in youth custody new rights. They also introduce new expectations on custodial establishments, Local Authorities, health partners and Youth Offending Teams.
In Somerset links have been made between the SEN and Youth Offending Teams and they are planning how to work better together in cases where children and young people in custody have special educational needs.
The Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice 2015 sets out in chapter 10 the detail of the new requirements.
Why the changes are important to Children and Young People in Youth Custody with SEN
The numbers of children and young people in youth custody with SEN are very low, the new SEND Code of Practice brings important changes. The support, provision, assessment and review children and young people in youth custody with SEN are crucial because:
- over 60% of people in youth justice have difficulties with speech, language or communication
- around 18% of young people in custody have a statement
Which Children and Young People in Youth Custody with SEN do the changes apply to?
The new arrangements apply to:
- Children and young people age 18 and under
- Children and young people who have been sentenced or remanded by the Courts to a Young Offender Institutions, A Secure Training Centre or a secure Children’s Home (in future these will become secure colleges)
- Children voluntarily detained in a Secure Children’s Home
What do the changes mean for Children and Young People in Youth Custody with SEN?
- For children and young people without appropriate SEN provision, where this is necessary it must be arranged through the graduated approach by the custodial setting
This might include an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan and if necessary a request for EHC needs assessment can be made.
- For children and young people who have statements or EHC plans, the LA must continue to arrange appropriate SEN provision. This includes maintaining and reviewing the plan.
The same responsibility of maintaining and reviewing applies to any care and health provision written in the plan.
- From April 2015 arrangements will be made for children and young people in custody who have a statement of SEN to transfer over to an EHC Plan either on release or in custody
In Somerset we have made links between the SEN and Youth Offending Teams and we are planning how we can better work together in cases where children and young people in custody have special educational needs.