Hillingdon's Youth Justice Service awarded SEND Quality Lead status
Thursday 9 November 2023: Hillingdon Council's Youth Justice Service has been awarded the Youth Justice SEND (special educational needs and disability) Quality Lead status with a Child First Commendation by the Association of Youth Offending Team Managers (AYOTM).
Hillingdon's Youth Justice Service works with young people aged between 10 and 18 years who come into contact with the criminal justice system and supports them to help make changes in their lives so they do not re-offend or cause further harm to the community.
These children often have additional needs and vulnerabilities and are supported by a dedicated multi-agency team that includes social workers, youth justice officers, police officers, probation officers, forensic psychologists, speech and language therapists, educational psychologists, youth workers and restorative justice workers.
Examples of the council's work that contributed to the award include:
- Developing a service that is informed by the child and family
- Establishing successful working relationships with key service providers to ensure a seamless service for young people
- Working alongside the Social Care High Risk Panel
- Training and supporting professionals in schools
- A commitment to early identification and support
- A co-located speech and language provision.
Cllr Susan O'Brien, Hillingdon Council's Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education, said: "We're extremely proud to have received this award. We work closely with our partners to ensure that all young people who offend are given the chance to turn their lives around.
"This status, held by only four other local authorities in the country, is a well-deserved testament to the commitment, investment, and endeavours of council services and the other agencies who work with us to support vulnerable young people and put their needs first.
"This latest assessment recognises the additional support measures that have been put into place since our last assessment in 2019 to ensure effective support is in place for children with high level needs entering the Youth Justice System without an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)."
Hillingdon Council achieved the AYOTM's Quality Mark status in December 2019.
The standards for the award were developed with the support of the Department of Education and the Youth Justice Board, with input from academics and practitioners, and is valid for three years.
For more information about Hillingdon's Youth Justice Service, visit www.hillingdon.gov.uk/youth-justice-service.