6.1.1 Joint Practice Guidance for Working with Young People in the Criminal Justice System in Children's Services in Walsall

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This guidance document sets out the principles of effective joint work between staff across services for young people to help and support children and young people who offend, or who are at risk of offending. 

It takes account of changes arising from the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO).

RELATED CHAPTERS

Looked After Children and Young People in Contact with Youth Justice Services Procedure

Remands to Local Authority Accommodation or to Youth Detention Accommodation Procedure

This chapter was added to this manual in February 2014.


Contents

1. Definitions
2. Principles, Objectives and Scope
3. Guidelines for Joint Work
4. Specific Arrangements for Joint Work
  4.1 Police Interviews with Young People Under Police and Criminal Evidence Act (1984) (PACE)
  4.2 Transfer of Young Person from Police Custody (under PACE)
  4.3 Attendance at Court
  4.4 Young People who are Placed on Bail from Court
  4.5 Young People who are Remanded from Court
  4.6 Reports for Courts and Community Panels
  4.7 Sentencing
  4.8 Young People where there are Risks of Needing Accommodation
  4.9 Preventing Offending of Looked After Children and Children in Need
5. Community Safeguarding and Public Protection Incidents (CSSPI)
6. Out of Hours Working
7. Information Sharing
8. Review and Resolution
  Appendix A: Changes to Care Status as a Result of Criminal Justice Decisions
  Appendix B: Relevant Guidance, Policies and Procedures         
  Appendix C: Information Sharing Protocol
  Appendix C1: Request for Information Form

1. Definitions

YJS – Youth Justice Service.

IRS – Initial Response Service – Specialist Children’s services.

EDT – Emergency Duty Team (out of hours service).

MASH – Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub.


2. Principles, Objectives and Scope

The overriding principle of this protocol and our ongoing work is to ensure the effective joint work between staff across services for young people to help and support children and young people who offend, or who are at risk of offending. Such help and support being individualised, working within the professional boundaries of all service areas and promoting the ‘better together for children’ vision across the partnership to ensure that children and young people:

  • I tell my story once;
  • Support and services join up around me;
  • People do what they say;
  • I feel better and safer.

Objectives for joint work between the services are:

  • To prevent young people entering the criminal justice system;
  • To protect children and young people from emotional, physical and sexual abuse and neglect;
  • To prevent and reduce offending and anti-social behaviour by young people;
  • To ensure young people are supported throughout the Youth Justice System;
  • To reduce the need for children and young people to be accommodated by providing relevant services and by identifying resources in the wider family and community;
  • To ensure children and young people participate in planning services for themselves and others;
  • To support the early help offer for all children and young people;
  • To minimise the cost of acute services and accommodation placements;
  • To reduce the cohort and support those who are missing or at risk of sexual exploitation;
  • To identify and support children and young people at risk of sexually harmful behaviours.

This protocol applies to Walsall Youth Justice Services (part of Integrated Young People’s Support Services) and Walsall’s Children’s Specialist Services including:

  • Emergency Duty Team (EDT);
  • Initial Response Service which includes the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) and family support;
  • Safeguarding;
  • Looked After Children’s Service;
  • Transition and Leaving Care Team;
  • Children with Disabilities Team.

The 1998 Crime and Disorder Act placed a duty on all local authorities to create a ‘youth offending team (YOT)’ made up of the statutory partners of health, education, social care, police and Probation Providers. In Walsall the Youth Justice Service (YJS) is a multi-agency team, managed on behalf of the Multi-Agency Consortium as set out by the 1998 Crime and Disorder Act. The YJS is located within the Local Authority, Children’s Services and most practitioners and managers are employed by the local authority, however as a multi agency service professionals from partnership agencies are also integrated into the service.

Youth Justice Services’ partner agencies include:

  • Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council;
  • West Midlands Police;
  • Prospects – Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG);
  • Staffordshire and West Midlands Probation Trust;
  • Walsall Care Trust;
  • Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership Trust;
  • Cri (T3);
  • Other Statutory and Voluntary Sector providers.


3. Guidelines for Joint Work

3.1 For all new referrals to the Youth Justice Service (YJS) the Mosaic system will be checked to determine whether there is ongoing involvement with Specialist Children’s Services (this will be done by a YJS employee). If further information is needed the YJS worker will contact the allocated Social Worker, or the MASH where there is not an allocated social worker.
3.2 Consideration must be given for lateral checks to be undertaken with YJS database - (Youth Offending Information System (YOIS)). This will be done by the allocated worker in MASH, when ever deemed useful.
3.3 Where the Youth Justice Service has concerns about actual or potential harm to a young person open to them, a referral will be made to MASH, or if the case is already open, to the young person’s Social Worker or Duty Worker within the appropriate team. Referrals to MASH must be in accordance with the WSCB procedures (see West Midlands Safeguarding Children Procedures, Referrals Procedure). This will be accompanied, where appropriate, by the ASSET (youth justice assessment of risk and needs) and any other relevant assessment and reports. These concerns must be followed up in writing to the allocated worker or to the duty worker.
3.4 In every situation where there is ongoing involvement with Children’s Specialist Services and Youth Justice Service there will be a plan held in each agency in respect of the child. In all cases plans will be shared and where possible the child or young person should only tell their story once and our services should join up around them. For Children’s Specialist Services this will be either a Child in Need Plan, a Child Protection Plan or for children who are Looked After a Care Plan or a Pathway Plan and for those previously Looked After a Pathway Plan. For Youth Justice Services, the written plan will usually be the Intervention Plan but may also include a Risk Management Plan and / or a Vulnerability Management Plan. These plans must reflect the involvement and planning of the other agency and plans must compliment rather than duplicate or conflict in priorities and approach. Both agencies are responsible for review arrangements of their individual plans. Reviews must be coordinated and consultation between agencies prior to key decision making and reviews must be evidenced on the case files. The YJS hold Risk Management and Vulnerability Panels (RMVP’s) fortnightly and in all cases the allocated Social Worker, or in their absence the Team Manager for the team holding the case, will attend. During these meetings the plans to effectively manage risk and vulnerability will be reviewed and signed off by YJS Management. A copy of the YJS risk management plan will be shared with the allocated social worker.
  3.4.1 In addition YJS hold regular Case Planning Forums (CPFs) to ensure effective, co-ordinated and multi-agency planning and review. In all cases the allocated Social Worker, or the Team Manager for the team holding the case, will be invited to attend. During these meetings the young persons’ intervention plans will be reviewed and signed off by YJS Management. 
  3.4.2 Attendance of Social Workers at RMVPs and CPFs will enable a tailored and co-ordinated response to be developed and agreed in relation to the young person’s welfare and criminogenic needs.
3.5 The guidelines for deciding upon roles and responsibilities is that Youth Justice Service will take the lead in work in relation to offending behaviour (criminogenic needs) and Children’s Specialist Services will take the lead in other work (welfare needs), either directly providing services, or co-ordinating services, such as accommodation placements (both housing and section 20 accommodation) and family support.
 3.6 At any time, both services are able to offer advice and consultation to each other via their duty officers / allocated worker.


4. Specific Arrangements for Joint Work

4.1

Police Interviews with Young People under Police and Criminal Evidence Act (1984) (PACE)

  4.1.1 Once a young person (up to their 18th birthday) has been arrested, the Police, under PACE, will require an Appropriate Adult to attend the Police interview. In all circumstances it is the responsibility of the Police to identify an Appropriate Adult; this will usually be a parent, carer or family member of the young person. When it is not possible for a parent, carer or family member to act as an Appropriate Adult whether through them being a victim or witness or if they refuse to attend, the Police, Youth Justice Services and Children’s Specialist Services will follow the guidance below to ensure an Appropriate Adult is present.
  4.1.2

When a child or young person is not known to Children’s Specialist Services and the request is during normal office hours:

  • If the above procedure has been followed and no Appropriate Adult found, the Youth Justice Services Duty Manager will make arrangements to send appropriate staff from Youth Justice Services to the Police station to act as an Appropriate Adult.
  4.1.3

When a child or young person’s case is open to Children’s Specialist Services and the request is during normal office hours:

  • When a young person’s case is open to Children’s Specialist Services, but does not have a named worker, it will be the responsibility of the team holding the case to make arrangements to send a member of staff to provide cover. It is anticipated this will be the duty worker within Children’s Specialist Services. The YJS will not be the first point of call if the young person is open to children specialist services;
  • Where a social worker is allocated to a young person, they will make arrangements for the most appropriate person to attend the Police station. This may include a foster carer or residential care staff if appropriately trained or a family member.
  4.1.4

When the request is outside normal office hours:

  • Between approximately 5.15pm (Monday – Thursday) and 4.45pm (Friday) and 9:00am, the Emergency Duty Team (EDT) will identify an Appropriate Adult in the absence of any suitable family members, foster carers, etc. Notification of this should be made to Youth Justice Services by sending the completed PACE form a record will also entered onto Mosaic. On receipt of the completed PACE form the YJS Duty manager or Duty Worker will ask Admin to complete a Mosaic check to get any additional details. If the case is open to Children’s Specialist Services the EDT worker will notify the allocated Social Worker and Admin mail box by e-mail.

4.2

Transfer of Young Person from Police Custody (under PACE)

  4.2.1

Following an interview of a young person at the Police station, the Police may charge the young person with an offence, and can then either release the young person on Police bail or, if the Police object to bail, ask the Local Authority via the Youth Justice Service or EDT to find suitable accommodation (either housing or section 20 accommodation as appropriate) under PACE until the young person’s attendance at the next available Court. Youth Justice Services or EDT will seek to clarify the reasoning and need behind all such requests as part of the robust assessment of the young person’s need for accommodation.

If accommodation is provided, the young person becomes Looked After until they appear back in Court. In all cases where a PACE transfer has been requested the receiving worker must assess the welfare of the young person in terms of balancing overnight accommodation in Police cells, with the age and vulnerability of the young person, any journey times involves in reaching the placement and induction time at that placement. Authorisation from the Assistant Director (specialist services) on the recommendation of a head of service or EDT is necessary for all new LAC placements. They will need explanation of what alternatives to placement have been considered. 

  4.2.2

For Young People Needing PACE Accommodation without a Secure Requirement:

The Youth Justice or EDT worker will attempt to contact Children’s Specialist Services, or the allocated social worker, where there is one, with a request for the young person to be accommodated overnight.  Head of Service approval is needed. The Youth Justice or EDT worker will work together to jointly arrange accommodation for the night for the young person, and to make arrangements to ensure the young person gets to the next available Court.

  4.2.3

For Young People Needing PACE Accommodation with a Secure Requirement:

The Youth justice or EDT Worker will contact the Youth Justice Board Placement Team(1) who will identify possible PACE beds. The Youth Justice or EDT worker will ring the establishment where the PACE bed has been identified to confirm availability and provide appropriate information to the unit. This will enable the secure unit to decide on the suitability of the young person’s transfer. The establishment has a maximum of one hour to make a decision on accepting the young person. 

Whenever a child or young person is transferred to Local Authority accommodation, the allocated social worker will without delay, advise the parent or carer of what has occurred and where the young person has been placed. If the child or young person did not have an allocated social worker prior to the PACE transfer the YJS worker will notify the parents / carers. Information about bail conditions and pending Court appearances will also be given to the parents and carers as appropriate.

The Youth Justice or EDT Worker will also contact other relevant persons, e.g. Secure Transport Provider(2), and put them on warning for a possible transfer. If the young person is not known to Children’s Specialist Services then a referral must be made to the MASH .

  • Once a placement has been agreed, the Youth Justice or EDT Worker will arrange for the Secure Transport Provider to transport the young person to the secure accommodation and arrange for them to take the young person to the next available Court.

In all cases, the appropriate paperwork should be transferred to the establishment with the young person, e.g. The receiving establishments referral assessment form, ASSET, Risk management Plan / Vulnerability management Plan, all relevant care plans, ideally via the YOIS connectivity route, or via fax if this fails. However it should be noted that the YJS might not have all this information if the young person is not previously known to the Criminal Justice Service. 

As soon as the Looked After young person appears at Court, they cease to be Looked After, unless they are remanded to custody (youth detention), in which case they will continue to be a Looked After child until they cease to be remanded to youth detention. If they are sentenced to custody the LAC designation will cease. 

(1) YJB placements can be contacted on 0845 3 63 63 63 option 5 during office hours, or option 2 outside of office hours, or via secure e-mail on; YJBPlacements-WestMidlands@yjb.gov.uk.cjsm.net

(2) Safecare transport – 01925 224989

4.3 

Attendance at Court

  4.3.1 Youth Justice Services have a specific role to undertake within the Youth Court and as such are unable to represent any young person at Court (therefore cannot act as appropriate adult). Youth Justice Workers at Court can offer advice, guidance and support to the Court and as such to young people on behalf of the Court.
  4.3.2

All young people not currently open cases to Children’s’ Social Work Services

Getting to Court: Parents / Carers retain responsibility for ensuring the young person’s attendance at Court and to represent the young person at Court.

  4.3.3

All young people receiving a service as Child in Need from Children’s Specialist Services

Getting to Court: Parents / Carers retain responsibility for ensuring the young person’s attendance at Court and to represent young person at Court. If they are not able to attend, and if there is an allocated Social Worker, they could attend on their behalf. Children’s Specialist Services may also provide financial assistance if required to get to Court.

When the Child in Need is on a Bail Support package with Youth Justice Services, then it is the Youth Justice Service’s responsibility to seek to ensure their attendance at Court, unless agreed otherwise with Children’s Specialist Services.

  4.3.4

Looked After Children

Getting to Court: Children’s Specialist Services are responsible for ensuring a young person’s attendance at Court and to identify a suitable person to represent the young person if a family member if not available or appropriate.

When a young person is placed out-of-borough, Children’s Specialist Services may request that a representative from the young person’s placement (residential worker / foster carer), ensures their attendance at Court and to represent the young person in Court.

  4.3.5

Care Leavers (16-18 year olds)

Getting to Court: Children’s Specialist Services are responsible for ensuring a young person’s attendance at Court wherever possible and to identify a suitable person to represent the young person in the absence of suitable family members or carers.

4.4  

Young People who are Placed on Bail from Court

  4.4.1

Bail Support:

When the Crown Prosecution Service are objecting to Bail the Youth Justice Services will assess young people for Bail Support packages, including an Intensive Surveillance and Supervision Programme. Where the young person is open to Children’s Specialist Services, the relevant Youth Justice worker will liaise with the allocated Social Worker regarding the suitability of the package.

If the young person is Looked After, contact will need to be made with the Social Worker and consideration given to the carer’s (or residential home manager’s) views regarding electronic tagging.

If a young person is on a Bail Support package, then it is the youth justice Service’s responsibility to ensure the young person’s attendance at Court, unless agreed otherwise with Children’s Specialist Services.

  4.4.2

Electronic monitoring

Where the Court is considering making a Looked After Child subject to electronic monitoring (‘tagging’) either as bail conditions, remand conditions, a community sentence or post custody licence conditions, the Youth Justice worker will consult with the Children’s Specialist Services worker regarding suitability. A joint assessment should be undertaken of the young person’s circumstances, including carers’ views (foster carers, residential staff or parents) in accordance with Home Office guidelines. Where electronic monitoring is imposed, the Youth Justice worker or Court staff will make the necessary arrangements with the monitoring service contractor regarding the young person’s living arrangements and circumstances.

  4.4.3

Young people who are Bailed to Live as Directed by the Local Authority (Bail LAD):

This condition can be used for all young people up to age 18 (or who are over 18 years old but committed the offence (s) before they were 18 years old), when the Court has concerns about the address of a young person, or where a young person is homeless. This condition places the onus on the Local Authority to find the young person appropriate accommodation until their next Court appearance. If the young person is not able to return home, given the time pressures, Youth Justice Worker will take responsibility for exploring other accommodation options with the young person, this must include family and friends.

If the young person is not known to Children’s Specialist Services the Youth Justice worker will contact Children’s Specialist Services, or if they are an open case will inform the allocated social worker / duty worker.

The Youth Justice worker will liaise with the Social Worker about practical arrangements for a placement, including arrangements for return to Court and retention of the bail sheet which needs to be added to Mosaic.

If the young person is not currently an open case to Children’s Specialist Services, the Youth Justice Worker will work with the Gateway accommodation service and assigned young person’s housing worker at the Civic Homeless Team to assess whether the young person can be placed at home or with relatives (undertaking risk assessments for these placements); or if there are any hostel placements available for the young person. In the absence of the above, the Youth Justice Court Officer will make a referral to the Homeless Section for emergency accommodation to be found. A separate policy exists with more information on this.

All services should work together to avoid using B&B accommodation.

4.5 

Young People who are Remanded from Court

  4.5.1

Young people who are remanded to Youth Detention Accommodation (YDA) from Court

All young people remanded to Youth Detention Accommodation become Looked After Children (LAC). The Youth Justice Board (YJB) will determine the type of YDA required based on the individual circumstances and vulnerabilities of the young person in question. 

The YJS worker will inform IRS as soon as there is an indication of a potential remand or as soon as one occurs. To reduce duplication in terms of gathering factual information and completing the assessment and risk assessment the YJS worker will forward the YJS documents to the IRS team: these will be attached to the relevant LAC paperwork. Remands into custody are often short in duration so the Single Assessment will consider the support needs of the young person on release from custody.

Within 10 days, the YJS will complete the following documentation and review:

  • Bail Asset and any risk or safeguarding documents (previous records will be used if available);
  • The new Placement Information Form;
  • A Remand review at the placement.

Within 10 days IRS will complete the LAC documentation including:

  • The Single Assessment;
  • The Placement Information Record;
  • The LAC Care Plan.

A joint visit at the secure placement will be arranged in order to conclude the assessments and remand review and to jointly plan for release. If the young person’s remand exceeds 10 days, then IRS will seek to transfer the case to corporate parenting. YJS and Specialist Services will work together to ensure the best outcome for the young person going forward, particularly in relation to preventing the occurrence of any future remand episodes.

The following information provides an overview of guidance in relation to the new legislation affecting this area of work:

Remands of children otherwise than on Bail - Refer to Part 3, Chapter 3 - Sections 91-107 of the  LASPO Act 2012.

The Act aims to reduce the use of secure remand for children and young people.

  • The current, complex remand arrangements will be simplified into a 'single remand framework';
  • The costs of keeping a young person in custody on remand will be transferred to local authorities, in order to provide an incentive to use remand more sparingly;
  • The status of 'Looked After child' will apply to all young people on remand;
  • A charged / convicted young person must meet one of two conditions - or 'tests' - before they are remanded into custody:
    • Seriousness of the offence - the offence must be either a violent or sexual offence, or one that, if committed by an adult, is punishable with a sentence of imprisonment of fourteen years or more (this is an existing test);
    • 'Realistic prospect' of receiving a custodial sentence - the young person must have a history of committing offences or absconding while on remand.
  • 17 year olds can now be remanded in secure children's homes or secure training centres, not just young offender institutions. (The Act has defined a child as a person under the age of 18).
  • If the young person is remanded to local authority accommodation, the local authority (designated by the court) must receive the young person and provide / arrange suitable accommodation for them (as per the duties of a local authority to place a child that is remanded as set out in section 22C of the Children Act 1989).
  • A Court can impose conditions on a child remanded to local authority accommodation similar to conditions that can be imposed on a child remanded on bail. The court can also 'impose requirements' on the local authority to make sure these conditions are adhered to, e.g. by using electronic monitoring.
  4.5.2

Court Remand to Local Authority Accommodation (RLAA)

A worker will be allocated from Youth Justice Services to explore alternatives to the Remand in line with Youth justice policy, procedures and expectations.

Upon receipt of a RLAA the young person becomes a Looked After Child.

An Admissions form must be completed by Children’s Specialist services and the Head of Service advised who will then inform the Assistant Director (Specialist Services).

If the child or young person does not already have an allocated social worker, the Team Manager in the allocated Children’s Specialist Service Team, will allocate a named worker and liaison will take place between Children’s Specialist Services and Youth Justice Services.

Children’s Specialist Services will take lead responsibility for identifying and making a suitable placement. They will also be responsible for transporting the young person to and from Court. Family placement options must always be considered, such as placement with Friends and Family under Regulation 24 of the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010.

The allocated social worker in Children’s Specialist Services will convene a placement planning meeting to prepare the placement plan, within five working days of the start of the placement. Where possible this will also include the Initial Remand Planning Meeting. The meeting will jointly plan actions, roles and responsibilities between Youth justice Services and Children’s Specialist Services including arranging transport for future Court appearances and agree the date for the first statutory review, or any other meetings needed before the end of remand period. The Youth Justice worker will work with Children’s Specialist Services to explore alternatives to the secure remand for future Court appearances.

  4.5.3

Remands to Custody

A Youth Justice worker will be allocated to all young people remanded to custody and will be responsible for remand planning, including the initial planning meeting (within 5 days of the remand).

A young person subject to a Care Order will continue to have an allocated Social Worker, will continue to be reviewed through the statutory review system. The Youth Justice worker and Social Worker will liaise with each other regarding review and planning meetings.

In the event that there is a dispute or difference of opinion as to the vulnerability of a young person, all information will be placed before the Court and each agency will ensure appropriate representation at the hearing.

4.6

Reports for Courts and Community Panels

It is the responsibility of the Youth Justice Worker to complete a Pre Sentence Report, a Pre Sentence Report must be clearly identified as such and all reports to the Youth Court from Children’s Services need to be sent via the Youth Justice Service. 

When a Youth Justice worker is allocated a Pre-Sentence or Panel Report, he / she must always check if the young person is, or has been, known to Children’s Specialist Services.

The Youth Justice worker will liaise with the relevant Social Worker involved and discuss Children’s Specialist Services involvement and any possible recommendation for the Court, including when considering a Youth Rehabilitation Order with a Local Authority Residence requirement and / or electronic tagging.

4.7

Sentencing

  4.7.1

All Community Sentences:

Where a young person has an allocated Social Worker, the Youth Justice worker will, at the start of the Order, arrange to meet the Social Worker to identify roles and responsibilities. This should include arrangements for transport and any financial commitments, review meetings dates and risk management meetings. For young people who are Looked After Children, Children’s Specialist Services will retain responsibility for facilitating the means for attendance at appointments, relating to the Order.

For Looked After Children who are placed out-of-borough, Walsall Youth Justice services will liaise with the relevant local Youth Justice / Offending Service to request that the local team delivers against the young persons Court order and intervention plan. Walsall Youth Justice Services will retain overall case responsibility for all children and young people who remain out of borough Looked After Children. Children’s Specialist Services will notify the Youth Justice worker of any proposed or actual change in placement as soon as practicable.

Please reference Section 4.4.2 above regarding electronic monitoring (tagging).

  4.7.2

The Youth Rehabilitation Order (YRO)

If the Court is considering a YRO with a Local Authority Residence requirement it will adjourn the case for the completion of a Pre Sentence Report (reference 3.5). The Youth Justice worker will notify the Youth Justice Team Leader who will inform Children’s Specialist Services of the suggestion that a YRO with a Local Authority residence requirement needs to be assessed. 

A YRO with a Local Authority residence requirement will only be deemed appropriate if the behaviour of the young person which led to the offence was, to a significant extent, due to the living conditions of the young person; and the addition of a Local Authority Residence Requirement will assist the rehabilitation of the young person.

The Youth Justice Worker will confirm if the Youth Justice ASSET assessment and social work assessment indicates a clear link between accommodation and offending or not, and as such, if a YRO with a Local Authority residence requirement would be appropriate.  Children’s Specialist Services will identify a suitable placement. If the placement is out of borough the Youth Justice worker will also need to liaise directly with the out of borough authority to confirm they will receive a YRO with a Local Authority residence requirement

Young people accommodated on a YRO with a Local Authority Residence requirement are subject to the general provisions of the section 23 of the Children Act 1989, placing a duty on the local authority to assess the child’s needs, plan and review the child’s care and accommodate the child for the duration of the Order. A young person who is the subject of a YRO with a Local Authority Residence requirement becomes a Looked After Child at the point of sentence, Children’s Specialist Services are responsible for funding the placement.

When a young person is made the subject of a YRO with a Local authority residence requirement there will be regular joint review meetings in line with National Standards for Youth Justice and Looked After Children reviews. In addition to this the Youth Justice worker, and the allocated Social Worker will communicate on at least a weekly basis to ensure that the accommodation remains stable and suitable. Any proposed moves must be shared with the Youth justice worker immediately as the Court Order may need to be amended (which is the responsibility of the Youth Justice worker). Any difficulties in compliance will be discussed at a review meeting and wherever possible breach action should be avoided and managed through alternative means such as planned moves and additional support.

  4.7.3

Custodial Sentences:

A Youth Justice worker will be allocated to all young people sentenced to custody and will be responsible for sentence planning, including the initial meeting (within 10 working days of the sentence), the pre release planning meeting and planning to licence conditions for the community element of the custodial sentence, this will need to include a clear exit strategy.

Unless already subject to a Care Order, the young person does not become a Looked After Child.

Young people subject to a Care Order will continue to have an allocated Social Worker and their care planning will continue to be reviewed through the statutory review system. 

Young people who were voluntary Accommodated (section 20) prior to their sentence are not considered to be Looked After Children whilst in custody.

Care Leavers legal status remains unchanged and the Local Authority that Looked After them retains responsibility for providing support to them when in custody and on release.

For all cases where a young person is open to a team within Childrens Specialist Services, the relevant workers should attend all custodial review meetings and in particular the pre release planning meeting, in order to establish clear plans regarding; accommodation, licence conditions, transportation home, reporting instructions and support networks to include financial arrangements. When a young person is a Looked After Child, transportation and accommodation arrangements and costs are the responsibility of Children’s Specialist Services. In all other cases the Youth Justice Services will support parents / carers to ensure appropriate arrangements are in place, or alternatively liaise with partner agencies to ensure needs are met.

Should the case be closed to Children’s Specialist Services Youth Justice Service must consider a referral to MASH if an assessment of the young persons’ need is required. Depending on the length of sentence, consideration must be given to whether accommodation will be required upon release and if so, the case will remain open to Children’s Services whilst the sentence is served and joint planning and reviews will be expected.

4.8

Young People where there are Risks of Needing Accommodation

If Youth Justice Services has assessed a young person as possibly needing accommodation they will complete the WLSCB 1 form and attach the ASSET assessment to refer / or provide this information to Children’s Specialist Services where further consultation will be undertaken and Children’s Specialist services will assess whether the criteria is met for the young person to be accommodated in Local Authority care.

Children’s Specialist Services can only fund placements where they have agreed the need for accommodation and when the following criteria are met:

  • There is serious risk of Significant Harm to the young person if accommodation is not provided; and
  • Alternatives to accommodation, e.g. family arrangement with friends and family have been explored and exhausted; and
  • The placement has been recommended by the Assistant Director (Specialist Services).

4.9

Preventing Offending of Looked After Children and Children in Need

  4.9.1

Preventing Offending of LAC

Where a Looked After Child may be at risk of offending, the young person must be referred to the Targeted Youth Support (TYS) LAC officer by Children’s Specialist Services for advice, assessment and intervention in accordance with the joint strategy between Children’s Specialist Services and Targeted Youth Support / Youth Justice Services aimed at reducing the offending of Looked After Children. This can also include siblings.

The Social Worker is responsible for ensuring that any Youth Restorative Disposals, Community Resolutions, Cautions and Conditional Cautions are placed on Mosaic and taken into account in assessments and planning.

  4.9.2

Preventing Offending of Children in Need

If a Social Worker judges a young person to be at risk of offending, whether or not they have previous convictions or warning, they should refer the young person to Targeted Youth Support / Youth Justice Services requesting advice and where needed, possible assessment and intervention.

Relevant information such as any completed Single Assessments, should be shared (within information sharing guidance).


5. Community Safeguarding and Public Protection Incidents (CSPPI)

(Full operational guidance is available at the Youth Justice Board website.)

The following table defines CSPPI:

Safeguarding Public Protection
Young person is charged with:
Death of a young person Murder / Manslaughter
Attempted suicide (for advice on how to identify an attempted suicide see Appendix A: Changes to Care Status as a Result of Criminal Justice Decisions) Rape
Victim of rape (where a formal allegation is made to the police)3 A MAPPA serious further offence when the young person is already subject to MAPPA (click here for MAPPA guidance)


All such incidents require the Strategic Lead for TYS and YJS to define and confirm the incident as a ‘CSPPI’ meeting the criteria and to notify to the Director of Children’s Services, Chair of the WSCB, Head of Safeguarding and Chair of the local Youth Justice Services Performance and partnership Board. 

Where anyone working with a young person is aware of a young person who may fit the criteria of a ‘CSPPI’  they must immediately inform the allocated YJS case manager, or duty officer who in turn is aware of their requirements to notify a manager within the YJS.

The YJS must then complete a Critical Learning Review (CLR) of the case which is submitted to the National Youth Justice Board within 10 working days of the notification of the CSPPI’. All agencies will cooperate in information sharing to gather a holistic picture of the actions taken in regards to the young person.

A youth justice ‘CSPPI' may also be reported by the WSBC as a case meeting the criteria for a Serious Case Review and the appropriate procedure under the WSCB for this should be followed in these instances.


6. Out of Hours Work

Responsibility for dealing with urgent situations, requiring action outside of office hours will fall to the Emergency Response Service.

The Designated Duty Team Manager for Youth Justice services or the Operational Lead for Targeted Youth Support will ensure that EDT have appropriate information about resources, warning of situations or cases likely to demand their direct intervention via email or telephone, this is particularly important and relevant for transfers under PACE, Appropriate Adult interviews as well as in managing risk and vulnerability issues.

Youth Justice practitioners will ensure that up-to-date information is available on accessible information systems (via e-mail and / or YOIS). This is particularly important where the public or staff may be at risk. Case file recording should include warning indicators.

A duty manager on call system operates during weekends and bank holidays and the duty manager on call can be contacted via the out of hours mobile on 07814 721202; alternatively there are emergency contact details available in the emergency contact booklet.

Saturday and Bank Holiday Court Cover

Saturday and Bank Holiday Courts are currently held at Wolverhampton magistrates Court and services are delivered on a rota basis by the four Black County Youth Justice Services (Walsall, Wolverhampton, Sandwell and Dudley).

The Youth Justice Duty Worker will contact the Court on or before 8.45am (or as soon as possible thereafter) if any young people have been refused bail and are to be produced in Court that day. The Youth Justice worker will gain appropriate information such as e.g. Police application, reason for refusal of bail and appropriate procedures followed, e.g. reference to IT systems and contact with Youth Justice Board if a placement is required, etc.

The Youth Justice duty worker will attend Court, meet with the young person to undertake an assessment that needs to be undertaken (bail, remand) and cover the Court proceedings, in line with Youth Justice policy, procedures and expectations.

The allocated Youth Justice duty worker (regardless of which of the four Black Court areas they are employed by) will cover all young people appearing in Court regardless of their home address. They will refer to the Walsall EDT any issues relating to Walsall young people.

Any bail or remand actions under section 4.4.3, 4.5.1 or 4.5.2 will need to reference the EDT Manager on call in place of the Assistant Director (Specialist Services).


7. Information Sharing

See Appendix C: Information Sharing Protocol.

All partner agencies in the Youth Justice Service are signatories to an Information Sharing Protocol.

In addition, all children and young people’s services comply with the statutory guidance ‘Information Sharing : Guidance for Practitioners and Managers’ 2008.

All young people who have contact with the Youth justice service sign an information processing notice in line with data protection requirements.

YJS, EDT and Children’s Specialist Services should share relevant information, which will safeguard children and young people, promote their welfare and prevent crime, in accordance with both local and national guidance (above), legislation and good practice requirements.

In normal office hours, telephone contact should be made with each other to gather information. Additionally, the YJS has read only access to the Mosaic database. It may be possible for practitioners to arrange to visit each others offices to review paper files or full access to databases to review all of the information held on a young person.

Out of Hours, EDT has access to YJS system – YOIS.

See Appendix C: Information Sharing Protocol for more detail on the information sharing protocol,


8. Review and Resolution

Review

This Protocol was written in June 2010, reviewed in October 2010, January 2011, January 2012, May 2012, January 2013 and October 2013 and will be jointly reviewed annually or in response to particular issues as and when required.

The Strategic Lead for Youth Justice Services and Group Managers for Children’s Specialist Services will meet every 6 months to review the implementation of the protocol, to agree any joint actions and to resolve any problems as appropriate.

Resolution

Prompt resolution of any disagreement is fundamental to this protocol.  Attempts should be made to do this at Team Manager level at the first instance. If these fail to achieve satisfactory resolution, then it should be escalated to the next management tier without delay.


Appendix A: Changes to Care Status as a Result of Criminal Justice Decisions

Click here to view Appendix A; Changes to Care Status as a Result of Criminal Justice Decisions.


Appendix B: Relevant Guidance, Procedures and Policies


Appendix C: Information Sharing Protocol

In order to assist with risk / vulnerability management and sentence or care planning, there are times when it is necessary for assessment documents to be shared within Children’s Services.

Request for information from YJS

It is expected that YJS staff will share intervention plans, risk management plans and vulnerability management plans with professionals who are working with the young person. It is anticipated that Looked After Children’s Care Plans are shared with the case manger in YJS to ensure that intervention plan takes into consideration the care plan. Documentation shared should be transmitted via the secure email and in line with data protection processes.

More detailed assessment documents, ASSET, ROSH and Single Assessments may also be requested. In all instances documents should not be shared unless a ‘request for information’ (see Appendix  C1: Request for Information Form) is received. Upon receipt of a request from an allocated Social Working in Specialist services, YJS case managers in consultation with the information officer will arrange for the ASSET and ROSH to be sent via secure email.

Upon receipt for a request for information from a professional other than the allocated social worker, YJS staff will discuss the request with a member of the management team. A decision will be made to either share the whole assessment, before this is sent a check will be completed to ensure that any third party or sensitive information has been removed. When a decision is made not to share the document in its entirety a summary of information addressing the specific reasons for the request should be prepared. All information will be shared via secure email.

In instances where a decision is made not to share the assessment, the manager will contact the person making the request directly and explain the reason for this decision.

Request for information by YJS staff

Request for information will be made by youth justice officers, who will complete Appendix  C1: Request for Information Form and secure email to specialist services. The request for information will be logged on the YOIS case diary, if information has not been received within 7 working days, this will be escalated to line manager who will contact the relevant team manger in social services.

Click here to view YJS Information to Children’s Specialist Services Flowchart.


Appendix C1: Request for Information Form

Click here to view Appendix C1: Request for Information Form

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