What is the Youth Offending Service?
Southend Youth Offending Service (YOS) was formed in 2000, in line with the Crime & Disorder Act (1998). The Youth Offending Service is a statutory agency that utilises a multi-disciplinary staff base including practitioners from the Probation Service, Health, Police, Education, substance misuse services and draws upon the skills of volunteers who provide a key ingredient to restorative justice. Southend Youth Offending Service aims to prevent offending and re-offending by children and young people between the ages of 10- 17 years. We work with children and young people who have been made subject to court orders and also offer interventions to young people who have been offered out of court disposals, such as Community Resolutions, Youth Cautions or Youth Conditional Cautions. Southend Youth Offending Service offers an extensive range of projects designed to meet the everchanging needs of local children, young people and their families. Every young person will receive childfriendly interventions, benefit from an integrated service that ensures young people are safeguarded and assisted to reintegrate back into their local communities. The intervention programmes used are based on restorative justice principles, encouraging the offender to recognise the impact that their criminal behaviour has had on their victims, on themselves, on their family, and on their community. The Restorative approach operates in partnership with Essex Police, and victims of the crimes committed are also directly involved where possible. Southend YOS achieves high levels of victim participation, which leads to better outcomes for both the young person who has offended and for the victim themselves.
What support does the Youth Offending Service Offer?
Southend YOS supports young people to change their behaviour by:
Working with young people to develop positive relationships, increase levels of personal responsibility and make positive choices.
Recognising and developing young people’s individual strengths, and believing in their capacity to change.
Working with families, communities and other professionals to build networks of support; and
Encouraging young people to understand the impact their behaviour has on victims, families, communities and themselves.
A wide range of interventions and programmes have been developed to help young people move away from offending by focusing on pro-social behaviours, managing emotions and providing alternative strategies for dealing with difficult or challenging situations. Young people are also encouraged to access support with substance use, education, mental and physical health or communication difficulties.