Our Youth Justice Service (YJS) serves the boroughs of Cheshire East, Cheshire West, Halton and Warrington, for young people aged 10 to 17.
YJS is made up of representatives from the police, probation service, children’s social care, health, education and other relevant specialist services such as substance misuse, mental health, accommodation etc.
As representatives are from a wide range of services, we can respond to the needs of young offenders in a comprehensive way. The YJS assesses the needs of each young offender, using a national assessment tool, to identify the specific problems that make the young person offend, measures the risk they pose to others, as well as their vulnerability.
YJS will also manage issued court orders. The young person will be required to attend regular meetings with their supervising officer, which will focus on their offending and factors that may reduce the likelihood of the young person offending again. Referrals to other agencies will be made where appropriate.
In addition, the YJS will seek to assist the victims of young offenders in efforts to repair the harm caused. This process is known as restorative justice and may involve an activity or direct action from the young person to the victim.
On occasion, it is possible and desirable that the offender meets the victim and makes a personal and direct apology for the harm caused.
We have a large team of volunteers who support our work and you can apply to be a YJS volunteer for a minimum of three hours a week. In order to be one of our volunteers, you must live or work in Cheshire East, Cheshire West, Halton, or Warrington.
Volunteering opportunities are always changing within the team and at present the following roles are available:
Youth offender panel members
The panels involve local community volunteers working with young offenders, their parents, and the victims. Panel members will talk and listen to these key people and agree with the young person a plan of action that is designed to repair the harm done and prevent further offending. This normally needs three hours a fortnight of your time.
Volunteers will undertake a range of tasks to support a young person to take part in their statutory court order. This can include helping them to attend solo and group work sessions; helping young people to get to external appointments or interviews and helping with transport. There are some young people who would benefit from a “long term” mentor, who can offer support from the same volunteer over the period of their order.
This involves working with young people in the community who are undertaking various forms of ‘payback’ for the damage they have caused. These range from painting and decorating, graffiti clearance and regeneration schemes.
We recruit in September each year and train in October and/or November. All voluntary posts are subject to a Vetting and Barring Disclosure Check (DBS) and you must be 18 years of age or over.
Each volunteer will have a formal interview and if successful, full training and induction are provided. Potential volunteers need to attend the mandatory training which tends to run at weekends. In addition, there are quarterly team meetings for volunteers and a newsletter. Travel expenses are also provided.