Dorset Combined Youth Justice Service aims to prevent and reduce offending by young people in Dorset, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.
The service works with young people in the local youth justice system. Our purpose is to help those young people to make positive changes, to keep them safe, to keep other people safe, and to repair the harm caused to victims.
This means we can support the national Youth Justice Board Vision that:
‘Every child should live a safe and crime-free life and make a positive contribution to society'.
Who We Are and What We Do
Dorset Combined Youth Justice Service (DCYJS) is a statutory partnership between Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council, Dorset Council, Dorset Police, the National Probation Service Dorset and NHS Dorset.
We are a multi-disciplinary team which includes youth justice officers, restorative justice specialists, parenting workers, education and employment workers, police officers, probation officers, nurses, speech and language therapists and a psychologist.
The team works directly with young people who have committed criminal offences to help them make positive changes and to reduce the risks to them and to other people. We also work directly with parents and carers to help them support their children to make changes.
We make contact with all victims of crimes committed by the young people we work with. We offer those victims the chance to take part in restorative justice processes so we can help to repair the harm they have experienced.
The organisations in the YJS partnership also work together to improve the quality of our local youth justice system, and to ensure that young people who work with the YJS can access the specialist support they need for their care, health and education.
The combination of work to improve our local youth justice and children's services systems, and direct work with young people, parents and victims, enables us to meet the Youth Justice Board's ‘System Aims':
- Reduce the number of children in the youth justice system
- Reduce reoffending by children in the youth justice system
- Improve the safety and well-being of children in the youth justice system
- Improve outcomes for children in the youth justice system.
Support for Young People with SEN and disability
In response to the Code of Practice, the Youth Justice Service supports young people with an EHC plan in custody. DCYJS ensures that the local authority and the custodial establishment work together to ensure the EHC plan continues to be delivered in custody, and again post-release. If a young person goes into custody without an EHC plan but where there is a need for an EHC assessment then the YJS or the custodial establishment requests the assessment from the local authority. DCYJS plays a role in facilitating the assessment and the exchange of information.
Once a young person is released then DCYJS supervises the young person in the community, and part of the supervision will involve supporting them to access the right education provision. This can include working with the young person to build their motivation and reduce barriers to attendance. It can also include work with the local authority to ensure that appropriate provision is made available to the young person.
DCYJS works with the two local authorities across Dorset to identify SEND issues early in our work with a young person, so that they are less likely to find themselves in custody. Therefore, we seek to exchange information when we start work with a young person to find out if the young person is known to the SEN team (and vice versa). DCYJS liaises with SEN teams if it seems that an EHC assessment might be required.