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Youth offending service

Waltham Forest Youth Offending Service (YOS) is a team made up of professionals from different organisations such as:

  • police officers
  • youth justice officers
  • family and opportunity development workers
  • social workers
  • probation officers
  • health and education specialists

We work together with young people and their families to prevent crime and reduce reoffending.

We work with young people that have come into contact with the police or courts through criminal or gang activity.

We look into the background of a young person and try to help them stay away from crime. We do this by working with the young person and their family. This includes group work programmes and one-to-one sessions.

Who we work with

The young people we work with will be:

  • on triage
  • on cautions
  • subject to court orders
  • on bail
  • in custody

By confronting the attitudes and behaviour of those young people who commit offences we can provide better support and alternative paths.

We can also:

  • help victims of youth crime and make sure their needs and wishes are taken into account
  • keep young people safe from crime, gangs and whilst on the street
  • divert young people from entering the criminal justice system
  • reduce future offending by working with young people to improve their health, literacy, self-esteem and employability

Our approaches

We use the following approaches.

Family support
We understand that families can be significantly affected by their child’s offending behaviour. We therefore provide support to families which include guidance and practical techniques such as:

  • Access to parenting programmes such as Triple P Parenting Programme and Strengthening Families, Strengthening communities.  Get more information about parenting programmes
  • Accessing Functional Family Therapy (FFT) 

Restorative justice
We are committed to a restorative justice (RJ) approach, which helps young people to face up to what they have done, take responsibility, and to make amends to the victim or to the wider community. The approach can involve mediation, where the young person meets with the victim in a safe environment, which can have very positive results for both the victim and the young person.

Triage
The Triage scheme reduces low profile offending. It diverts young people committing low level offences away from the criminal justice system into effective interventions to reduce re-offending.

Pre sentencing and sentence reports
When required we will provide youth courts and crown courts with pre sentence reports and specific sentence reports to assist sentencing. This assessment of the young offender will be in line with national standards.

Community sentences
We provide support for community based disposals. The team:

  • provide supervision of young people
  • work with parents and carers of young people as and when appropriate
  • ensure that a variety of resources are available for such sentences

Custodial sentences
We offer support to young people during their sentences and provide supervision after their release. Whilst in custody they will be visited by their YOS worker and will attend planning meetings to discuss what will happen when in custody and also when  released. When leaving custody young people will have regular meetings with their YOS worker to ensure they successfully reintegrate into the community.

Gangs

‘Enough is Enough’ is Waltham Forest Council's innovative gangs programme set up to address gang activity. The programme supports young people and their families who are:

  • at risk of exploitation from gangs, this also includes child sexual exploitation
  • affiliated to a gang
  • have been a victim of gangs

Get more information about the Enough is enough programme.

Complaints

If you wish to make a complaint or provide feedback on the services we provide please go to our complaints page.

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