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How do we work with young offenders?

All young people referred to the Youth Offending Services will be assessed.

All young people referred to the Youth Offending Service will be assessed. ASSET is a standard assessment tool used by all Youth Offending services that provides a common, structured framework for assessing the factors contributing to a young person's offending.

Assessments cover:

  • Personal information
  • Offending behaviour
  • Living arrangements
  • Family and personal relationships
  • Statutory education
  • Employment, training and further education
  • Neighbourhood
  • Lifestyle
  • Substance use
  • Physical health
  • Emotional and mental health
  • Perception of self and others
  • Thinking and behaviour
  • Attitudes to offending
  • Motivation to change
  • Positive factors
  • Indicators of vulnerability

A good assessment will identify a young person's needs and assist in the planning of effective work.


For interventions to be effective they must tackle the risks and needs of young people and strive to strengthen positive factors in their lives.

Interventions need to be supported by a range of resources, some of which may be provided by the Youth Offending Service directly and others by external, mainstream agencies.

Interventions should be relevant to young people's lives and use methods that will motivate and interest them

The intensity of interventions should be appropriate to the level of risk of future offending. Interventions may cover:

  • Education and training
  • Mentoring
  • Personal development
  • Work with families
  • Restorative work
  • Drug and alcohol awareness
  • Offending behaviour initiatives
  • Health advice
  • Accommodation advice
  • Artistic, dramatic or sporting activities

The requirements of any intervention needs to be clearly explained to the young person, so that they know what is expected of them and understand the consequence of not complying..

Intervention plans need to be reviewed regularly so that successes can be recognised and reasons for lack of progress identified.

Orders need to be consistently enforced as required by the National Standards for Youth Justice, and any failures or non-compliance speedily dealt with.


For work with young offenders to be effective there needs to be -

  • A rigorous assessment of risk and need
  • Thorough planning of interventions that tackle the risks and needs identified
  • Supervision and review that holds young people and services to account
  • Sufficient flexibility to allow plans to be amended following significant events
  • Reviews of progress that acknowledge attainment


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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 25 Mar 2015 at 16:50