Quality Mark Awarded to County Council Youth Justice Service

West Sussex County Council and partners have been recognised for their work supporting children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in the youth justice system.

The Youth Justice SEND Quality Mark identifies good practice standards for working with children with SEND who are involved in the youth justice system.

The Council was praised for its commitment to meeting the needs of vulnerable children through recent investment in staffing within the Youth Justice Service and the effective secondment of staff from Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

The assessment highlighted several preventative initiatives Aimed at diverting children from the youth justice system through the provision of proactive targeted support and interventions. This is supported by the ongoing work in schools to develop Therapeutic Thinking, a therapeutic and trauma informed approach for all educational settings, which uses a range of resources to understand what children are communicating through their behaviour and provide the necessary support to meet their needs. The assessment report stated: “There is no doubt the collective impact of this work will continue to drive down first-time offending rates.”

In addition, it found that the Special Education Needs Assessment Team (SENAT) and the Youth Justice Service work well together, with strong relationships developed between agencies and robust processes in place for sharing data, ensuring that support is delivered efficiently.

Councillor Jacquie Russell, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Learning and Skills said:

“This award reflects the hard work and dedication of all those working in an incredibly complex area. Effective use of resources and a joined-up approach between multiple service areas has resulted local services working to a nationally recognised practice standards and striving to achieve high quality provision for children in some of the most challenging circumstances. The progressive work between teams within West Sussex County Council and external partners will help ensure that children entering youth justice pathways with additional needs continue to receive the right support to help them avoid vulnerable situations in future and fulfil their potential.”

West Sussex County Council’s Youth Justice Service aims to reduce offending behaviour by children, supporting children to understand and change their behaviour, as well as helping them access opportunities and make positive choices about their futures. Read more about some of the Youth Justice Service’s recent work here: West Sussex Youth Justice Service and local charity help young people get back on track – West Sussex County Council

The Youth Justice SEND Quality Mark is accredited by the Association of Youth Offending Team Managers in partnership with Microlink PC UK. For more information please visit: Congratulations to West Sussex Area Partnership – Microlink (microlinkpc.com)