The Youth Offending Service aims to prevent children and young people from breaking the law and to help them from re-offending. Its purpose is to help children and young people who have offended to get the help and support they need to become valued and productive members of society and to repair harm that they might have caused. The service is multi-disciplined in that it works together with a range of organisations, including:
- Children, Young People and Families (Local Authority Social Care)
- Wiltshire Police
- Wiltshire Probation Service
- The Health Service
- Schools and Education Service
- The Courts
- Criminal justice agencies
- Other organisations and groups that support children and young people
It works with the young offenders themselves, their parents/guardians/carers as well as the courts, criminal justice agencies and other organisations that provide support to young people. It also manages the public perceptions about the level of youth crime within the Borough of Swindon.
Who the service is for
The service works with children and young people, aged from 10 to 17 years of age that are on statutory court orders.
Who can request the service
The children and young people that the service works with are referred by the courts or other criminal justice agencies.
To find out more, please contact the Youth Offending Service on:
Tel: 01793 464662
Following referral to the service, each young person is assessed from a number of perspectives to determine whether they are presenting a risk of further offending, harming themselves or others. Based on the outcome of this risk assessment a plan is put in place to support the young person. The plan is specific to the needs of the individual young person. Its aim will always be to address the risk factors that lead to offending and re-offending, for example:
- Drug, alcohol or substance misuse
- Anger management
- Cognitive behavioural issues
- Sexual health
- Motoring offences
- Weapons crime
Wherever possible, victims are invited to engage in the process. This is referred to as 'restorative justice'. They are given the opportunity either to meet young offenders, or to communicate with them by some other means, to communicate how they feel and what they would like done to make good the harm that has been caused as a result of the crime or offence. Meeting victims often has a significant impact on a young person’s behaviour and their understanding of how their actions has affected other people. As well as having benefits for the victim, this process contributes significantly towards reducing re-offending and the level of seriousness of it.
Volunteers feature prominently in the Youth Offending Service culture. In Swindon many volunteers from the community are currently actively supporting positive outcomes for young offenders in a variety of ways. All volunteers are trained, supervised and appraised (to the same high standard as employed staff), and thus gain valuable life skills that make a positive contribution to the future of the children and young people.
If you feel you can help in this way, contact us for an initial discussion.
You can find further information in our restorative youth services plan (PDF).