Information for families in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole

Dorset Combined Youth Justice Service

Dorset Combined Youth Justice Service aims to prevent and reduce offending by young people in Dorset, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

The service works with young people in the local youth justice system. Our purpose is to help those young people to make positive changes, to keep them safe, to keep other people safe, and to repair the harm caused to victims.

This means we can support the national Youth Justice Board Vision that:

‘Every child should live a safe and crime-free life and make a positive contribution to society'.

Who We Are and What We Do

Dorset Combined Youth Justice Service (DCYJS) is a statutory partnership between Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council, Dorset Council, Dorset Police, the National Probation Service Dorset and NHS Dorset.

We are a multi-disciplinary team which includes youth justice officers, restorative justice specialists, parenting workers, education and employment workers, police officers, probation officers, nurses, speech and language therapists and a psychologist.

The team works directly with young people who have committed criminal offences to help them make positive changes and to reduce the risks to them and to other people. We also work directly with parents and carers to help them support their children to make changes.

We make contact with all victims of crimes committed by the young people we work with. We offer those victims the chance to take part in restorative justice processes so we can help to repair the harm they have experienced.

The organisations in the YJS partnership also work together to improve the quality of our local youth justice system, and to ensure that young people who work with the YJS can access the specialist support they need for their care, health and education.

The combination of work to improve our local youth justice and children's services systems, and direct work with young people, parents and victims, enables us to meet the Youth Justice Board's ‘System Aims':

  • Reduce the number of children in the youth justice system
  • Reduce reoffending by children in the youth justice system
  • Improve the safety and well-being of children in the youth justice system
  • Improve outcomes for children in the youth justice system.

Support for Young People with SEN and disability

In response to the Code of Practice, the Youth Justice Service supports young people with an EHC plan in custody. DCYJS ensures that the local authority and the custodial establishment work together to ensure the EHC plan continues to be delivered in custody, and again post-release. If a young person goes into custody without an EHC plan but where there is a need for an EHC assessment then the YJS or the custodial establishment requests the assessment from the local authority. DCYJS plays a role in facilitating the assessment and the exchange of information.

Once a young person is released then DCYJS supervises the young person in the community, and part of the supervision will involve supporting them to access the right education provision. This can include working with the young person to build their motivation and reduce barriers to attendance. It can also include work with the local authority to ensure that appropriate provision is made available to the young person.

DCYJS works with the two local authorities across Dorset to identify SEND issues early in our work with a young person, so that they are less likely to find themselves in custody. Therefore, we seek to exchange information when we start work with a young person to find out if the young person is known to the SEN team (and vice versa). DCYJS liaises with SEN teams if it seems that an EHC assessment might be required.

View all details
Venue/Contact Details
David Webb
01202 794321
BCP Council
519a Ashley Road
BH14 0BD
Area coverage
Pan Dorset
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  • Toilet Available
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Pushchair and Pram Accessible
  • Drop off / Collection point
  • Car Parking
Times and Costs
Opening times:
Monday to Friday 8:45am - 5:15pm.
Further opening details:
  • Afternoon
  • Morning
  • Daily
  • All Year Round
SEND Local Offer SEND

Research shows a high level of special educational needs amongst the young offender group. The Youth Justice Service works with schools and local authorities to make sure that young people's special educational needs are identified and addressed. We also liaise with custodial establishments to ensure that any young person in custody receives the specialist education which they require. It should be stressed that custody is a last resort which is very rarely used, and most of our work takes place in the community.

The Children and Families ACT 2014 included new requirements for supporting children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) when they are detained in youth custody. These requirements are explained more fully in the 2014 "SEND: Code of Practice 0-25 years" and came into effect from April 2015. Under the Code of Practice, Youth Offending Teams have an important role to play in ensuring the exchange of information between local authority SEND teams and custodial establishments.

It is important that young people who have an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan are able to receive the designated support while they are in custody. It is also important that young people in custody who may have unidentified SEND are able to receive an EHC Assessment. The Youth Justice Service also has a role to play in facilitating continuity of education services before, during and after a period in custody. Dorset Combined Youth Justice Service (DCYJS) and its partners in BCP Council and Dorset Council are committed to ensuring that young people receive the right support for their SEND issues at an early stage. It should not be necessary for a young person to receive a custodial sentence for them to have their SEND issues met. Therefore DCYJS and its local authority partners are committed to working beyond the requirements of the Code of Practice to ensure effective joint working for all young people who are known to youth justice services. In practice this means that the Youth Justice Service will:

  • Check with the local authority SEN teams to see if new Youth Justice Service cases are already known to those services
  • Use the AssetPlus assessment tool to identify possible SEND issues
  • Our Speech and Language Therapists meet with young people to complete speech, language and communication needs assessments to inform our work, help identify communication needs that may link to SEND and help the child and their carers to understand their needs
  • Link with local authority SEN teams and education providers to ensure that young people known to the Youth Justice Service receive the necessary SEND assessments and interventions
  • Exchange information with local authority SEN teams and with education providers, subject to necessary legal controls, so that the needs of young people can be identified and addressed
  • Notify the local authority when a young person is remanded or sentenced to custody and facilitate contact between the local authority and the custodial establishment
  • Inform the local authority SEN team of any young person in custody who the Youth Justice Service assess may have SEND issues
  • Work closely with the local authority SEN team and the custodial establishment to facilitate EHC assessments, plans and interventions
  • Support the young person in custody, and their parent/carer when appropriate, to understand and access their entitlements to EHC assessments and provisions
  • Notify the local authority when a young person is to be released from custody
  • For young people who turn 18 in custody the Youth Justice Service will ensure that relevant information relating to SEND issues and provision is shared with the National Probation Service or the Community Rehabilitation Company

We are flexible about how we meet with young people and families, usually doing so at or near the young person's home. We aim to avoid times when the young person should be in education, training or employment

All Youth Justice Service interventions are for a fixed duration, specified by the court order or police caution. If there are ongoing needs then we link with relevant partners to ensure ongoing support for the young person after our role ends.


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