North Somerset Youth Offending and Prevention Service (YOS) is a multi-agency service which is funded by local partner agencies: North Somerset Council via People and Communities, Police, National Probation Service, North Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group, the Youth Justice Board and the Office of Police and Crime Commissioner. The primary responsibility of the YOS is to prevent offending and anti-social behaviour by children and young people from 10-18 years of age and achieves this through delivery of the following interventions/services relevant to academies/schools/colleges:
• Community and Court Order Supervision
The YOS provides supervision of young people following Court sentencing and ‘Out of Court’ Disposals Panel. The YOS works with young people in custody and the community.
The YOS prepares reports for the Court and Panels, and will feed in input from education establishments, training providers and employers.
• Youth Inclusion and Support Programmes
The YOS provides targeted voluntary programmes aimed at diverting young people aged 10-18 from offending. As part of their Programme young people may complete work around, for example, offending behaviour, social skills, victim awareness, consequential thinking, peer pressure, positive activities, emotional management and self-esteem. There are also boys, and girls groups which involve therapeutic groupwork aimed at understanding teenage and adolescent issues with a view to instilling resilience and informed decision making.
• Junction 21 Mentoring and Advocacy Service
The nationally recognised Mentoring and Befriending Foundation has awarded the YOS managed Junction 21 Mentoring Approved Provider Status.
We link adult volunteer mentors to young people (aged 14 and over) who need a positive role model. Mentors are trained to OCN level 2, CRB checked and supervised by the YOS. A mentor can work with a young person for up to 12 months, usually meeting weekly. During this time the mentor and the young person will work towards achieving goals that have been agreed between them and the caseholder.
The YOS provides independent visiting and advocacy in relation to Children Looked After.
• Parenting work
The YOS will work with parents and carers to enhance their parenting skills, and to reduce the risk of young people offending and to promote engagement in education, training and employment. This can be on a voluntary basis or under a Parenting Order made by the Court. The YOS parenting workers deliver 1:1 bespoke parenting support packages as well as nationally recognised parenting programmes in partnership with colleagues from other agencies.
• Victim work
The YOS will take into account the victim’s views and feelings in their work with young people who offend. Victims’ involvement is encouraged however their involvement is always subject to their consent.
• Health and substance use
The Substance Advice Service (SAS) is managed by YOS. Young people accessing the YOS via voluntary and statutory programmes will have the opportunity to have a holistic health care assessment. Identified need will then be met by an individualised care plan.
Advice and information can be provided on a range of health issues including drugs and alcohol education/treatment; mental health assessments; treatment for anxiety/loss/depression; sexual health/relationships – No Worries service; support to stop smoking; exercise/positive activities and healthy eating via 1:1 or group work interventions.
YOS staff may deliver a range of drug awareness programmes within North Somerset academies/schools.
• Young Victims’ Service – delivers across the five Local Authorities in Avon and Somerset support services to young people referred who have been victims of crime/anti-social behaviour.