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10.1 Protocol between Newcastle Youth Offending Team and Newcastle Children's Services Directorate

Contents

  1. Purpose
  2. Assessment
  3. Information Sharing, Consent and Confidentiality
  4. Children and Young People in Need
  5. Placement Requests
  6. Vulnerable Young People (VYP) identified by Newcastle Safeguarding Children Board Vulnerable Young Person’s Guidance
  7. Children and Young People who are Looked After and those receiving Services from the 16+ Team
  8. Child Protection Roles and Responsibilities
  9. Arrested Young People (Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE))
  10. Court Work
  11. Young People Bailed
  12. Children and Young People Remanded or Sentenced to Custody

    Appendix 1: References


1. Purpose

The Newcastle Youth Offending Team (YOT) incorporates representatives from a wide range of services to respond to the needs of young offenders, to prevent offending and re-offending by children and young people.

Children's Social Care (CSC) Social Work Service works with children in need in Newcastle, and incorporates the Initial Response Service (IRS), the Assessment and Monitoring (A & M) service and the Looked After Children (LAC) service. The work aims to promote the safety and welfare of children and young people and support them to achieve the Every Child Matters Outcomes.

This policy aims to provide a clear framework for the above services to work together in partnership to deliver efficient and effective services to meet the needs of children and young people within the criminal justice system in Newcastle. Working together and communicating are central principles in providing the service, and up to date information should be shared throughout the process.


2. Assessment

The YOT use Asset and ONSET assessment tools, according to the Youth Justice Board requirements.

Asset

Asset is a structured assessment tool used young people who have offended and come into contact with the criminal justice system. It aims to look at the young person’s offence or offences and identify a multitude of factors or circumstances, which may have contributed to such behaviour. The information gathered from Asset can be used to inform court reports so that appropriate intervention programme's can be drawn up. It also highlights any particular needs or difficulties the young person has, so that these may also be addressed. In addition, Asset can help to measure changes in needs and risk of re offending over time.

ONSET

ONSET is a referral and assessment framework that identifies if a young person would benefit from early intervention, and determines the risk factors that should be reduced and the protective factors that should be enhanced in order to prevent him or her offending.

National Assessment Framework for Children in Need and Their Families

The National Assessment Framework for Children In Need and Their Families (DoH 2000) gives guidance on assessments, with three inter-related dimensions:

  • The developmental needs of children;
  • The capacities of parents or caregivers to respond appropriately to those needs;
  • The impact of wider family and environmental factors on parenting capacity and children.

Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA)

MAPPA is a framework for assessing risk of sex offenders and includes:

  • The identification of offenders;
  • The sharing of relevant information among those agencies involved in the assessment of that risk;
  • The assessment of the risk of serious harm; and
  • The management of that risk.

If an individual meets the criteria for a MAPPA meeting, they will be subjected to an assessment to determine potential risk.


3. Information Sharing, Consent and Confidentiality

Personal information about children and families held by professional workers and agencies is subject to a legal duty of confidentiality and should not normally be disclosed without the consent of the subject. However, the law permits the disclosure of confidential information if it is necessary to safeguard a child or children or in the public interest. The “public interest” in child protection may override the “public interest” in maintaining confidentiality. Disclosure should be justifiable in each case, according to the particular details of the case, and legal advice should be sought in cases of doubt.

Children and young people are entitled to the same duty of confidentiality as adults, provided that, if under 16 years of age, they have the ability to understand the choices and the consequences (ref: Fraser Guidelines). For those young people over 16 (ref: Mental Capacity Act 2005).

Disclosure of information to safeguard children and young people will usually be for the protection of health or well being of children/young people, and for the prevention of serious disorder or crime.


4. Children and Young People in Need

In some instances, YOT service users are considered to be a Child in Need.

YOT Responsibilities

  • Where the YOT Officer considers that further support is necessary, they may consult with CSC to discuss the appropriateness of a formal referral;
  • In the case where a young person is open to a CSC social worker, as a child in need, the intervention will be identified in partnership, taking account of any current plans;
  • It will be the responsibility of the YOT Officer to inform the social worker at every given stage in a young person's involvement in the criminal justice system;
  • Consultation will take place with the named social worker prior to any court report being prepared;
  • The YOT Officer will undertake an AIM Assessment jointly with the CSC social worker.

CSC Responsibilities

  • In open cases the allocated social worker will work in partnership with the YOT Officer and keep the YOT informed of any relevant information;
  • Where a YOT Officer contacts the IRS about concerns about a child or young person, the IRS will decide on action to be taken according to the CSC Child In Need thresholds. The YOT will be advised about the decision made and any further action being taken by CSC as a child in need, a vulnerable young person or a child/young person in need of protection (see below Section 8, Child Protection Roles and Responsibilities);
  • CSC will have a primary role within the planning and reviewing of the intervention offered by the YOT when a child is assessed to be a Child in Need;
  • If an AIM Assessment has been requested the CSC worker will work jointly with the YOT Officer and undertake the relevant needs assessment section.


5. Placement Requests

When a placement is identified to be required by a young person who is involved with the YOT, due to youth offending issues. Once a placement has been identified:

  • The worker who knows the child best will undertake transportation and placement of the child/young person.

YOT Responsibilities

  • To advise the relevant CSC team of the likelihood for a request being made;
  • To explore any possible options via family/friends;
  • Where no alternative arrangements are identified:

    Complete electronic template request for placement and email this to placements@newcastle.gov.uk and the admin at the relevant team, to gain service manager approval, to undertake initial assessment and facilitate placement;
  • Email (in a compressed format) a completed, relevant Asset assessment, if already completed, via a Word Document to the admin of the relevant team, to assist in the essential information being transferred in an effective and timely manner to inform the initial assessment. If not already completed the YOT Officer will undertake this and pass on the information as soon as possible.

CSC Responsibilities

Undertake an Statutory Assessment, taking into account the information from the YOT Asset assessment and any other relevant information from the YOT.


6. Vulnerable Young People (VYP) identified by Newcastle Safeguarding Children Board Vulnerable Young Person’s Guidance

The Vulnerable Young People Procedure can be applied to those young people for whom a Child Protection Plan would not be appropriate as their vulnerability stems from their own behaviour and not that of a primary care giver.

The procedure will also apply to young people who are known to CSC and who from their behaviour/vulnerability are at risk of ongoing significant harm.

Concerns about Looked After Children and young people will be addressed through the LAC reviewing process.

The VYP procedure will apply to all other young people, including relevant children (young people aged between 16 and 18 who have left care and who have been Looked After for more than 13 consecutive weeks since their 14th Birthday).

YOT Responsibilities

  • Where the YOT is concerned about the vulnerability of a young person, they will establish whether the young person is actively known to CSC:
    • If the case is an open case to CSC, the YOT worker will send a written referral to the relevant social worker;
    • If the young person is not an open case, the referral should be sent to the IRS. The referral can be made by way of Asset or ONSET, with any relevant vulnerability assessment.
  • The YOT will attend provide any relevant information/assessments and any meetings as outlined in the relevant section of the VYP Procedures.

CSC Responsibilities

  • The IRS will consider information and make a decision about whether any action will be taken under the VYP procedures or any other CSC procedures (i.e. complex need or Safeguarding);
  • The IRS will allocate a social worker to undertake an Statutory Assessment, based on information from the YOT. The Statutory Assessment will determine the need for a multi-agency planning meeting to consider the concerns or any other service need;
  • The planning meeting will devise a child plan to support the young person in the community if possible;
  • The child plan will determine the frequency of care team meetings and review of the plan.


7. Children and Young People who are Looked After and those receiving Services from the 16+ Team

This includes Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children receiving a service from the 16+ team and who are eligible to receive services under the Leaving Care Act 2000.

In addition to the previous section, the following will apply additionally to Looked After children and young people:

YOT Responsibilities

YOT officers will attend reviews, and contribute a written report, for Looked After children and young people, where they are involved in the case.

CSC Responsibilities

  • The 16+ team will make suitable arrangements for the escorting of young people to and from court and for an appropriate adult;
  • The 16+ team will ensure that a social worker attends court, as appropriate adult, who has knowledge of the case and can supply the court with relevant information about the child if requested;
  • CSC staff will ensure that reviews are conducted in a timely fashion for any children/young people involved with the YOT and who are looked after, including those in custody.


8. Child Protection Roles and Responsibilities

NSCB Safeguarding Procedures apply where there are concerns about the safety or welfare of any child or young person except in the case of children who are in custody or a secure establishment and the procedures of the local area, (where the establishment is located), apply.

YOT Responsibilities

  • YOT staff will make a referral using the NSCB Safeguarding Procedures if there are any Child Protection concerns with any children and young people they are working with or within the family. This applies to all children and young people, including those in custody (to the local area Children's Social Care);
  • YOT staff will cooperate with any child protection enquiries or processes, according to the local Safeguarding Children Board Safeguarding Procedures;
  • YOT will attend Strategy Meetings, subsequent conferences, prevention planning and Child in Need meetings;
  • YOT staff will notify the NSCB In all cases where a child or young person has committed an offence against another child or young person, or there are concerns about a child or young person’s behaviour towards other children and young people;
  • YOT staff to take into account any child protection concerns when making a referral to MAPPA or risk managing a MAPPA case.

CSC Responsibilities

  • The IRS receives contacts where there are concerns about a child or young person, and will decide on action to be taken according to the CSC thresholds and will advise the YOT of the decision as to whether the concern has been defined as a child protection issue, and of any ensuing action;
  • CSC staff to take the lead in any investigation;
  • CSC staff will make YOT staff aware of any ongoing child protection concerns;
  • CSC staff will participate in MAPPA meetings;
  • CSC locally will provide child protection services to Young People in secure accommodation.


9. Arrested Young People (Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE))

YOT Responsibilities

To provide a comprehensive remand management strategy, which includes:

  • Provision of appropriate adults.

    When a young person is arrested, the police custody officer, under PACE, has a responsibility to request the attendance of a responsible adult, who is known as an Appropriate Adult. This role was created with the intention of safeguarding the rights and welfare of young people arrested and in police custody.

    The role of the appropriate adult is to support and advise a young person in police custody and to facilitate communication between them and the police but does not give legal advice. An Appropriate Adult can be a family member, friend, a volunteer or professional. (The rights and responsibilities of an Appropriate Adult are detailed in the PACE Codes of Practice which are updated regularly).

CSC Responsibilities

  • The CSC Emergency Duty Team will act as the contact point out of office hours for Appropriate Adult a request from the police and make request to the YOT to appoint;
  • Under PACE S38(6) the Local Authority have a duty to provide accommodation to children and young people that are unable to return home;
  • The local authority will identify and arrange appropriate PACE accommodation for children and young people not released from police custody. The CSC social worker will facilitate travel arrangements. 


10. Court Work

YOT Responsibilities

  • The YOT will provide a court duty system across the range of proceedings for under 18s including adult Magistrates, Crown and Saturday and Bank Holiday remand courts;
  • The YOT will provide CSC social workers responsible for open cases timely and appropriate information regarding court appearances and the outcome of court appearances;
  • Consultation will take place with CSC social workers regarding information for Pre Sentence reports;
  • The YOT will provide the court with a bail report in all cases where there is an objection to bail;
  • The YOT will undertake a post court report / Asset assessment on all young people either remanded or sentenced to custody;
  • The YOT will advise the allocated social worker, in open cases, if a Parenting Order has been made in respect of criminal activity;
  • The YOT will advise the allocated social worker, in open cases, if an Anti Social Behaviour Orders has been made in respect of criminal activity;
  • The YOT will adhere to national standards in relation to attendance and enforcement. All progress and breach reports will be prepared by the YOT;
  • The YOT will provide appropriate advice to social workers attending court prior to their appearance. The YOT will in the first instance always encourage parents/carers’ attendance at Court.

CSC Responsibilities

  • Social workers will provide the YOT case manager with relevant information regarding care plans, where the child is looked after by the local authority and child plans for children/young people in need;
  • CSC will provide named accommodation to the court for those cases where a remand is being considered and all avenues of family and friends have been exhausted. This is a requirement of Anti Social Behaviour Act 2003;
  • Where a young person is remanded to local authority accommodation (including with a security requirement), CSC will allocate the case through the relevant Looked After Children’s social work team to manage within the looked after system;
  • In all cases where a young person is remanded to secure accommodation or custody and is an open case to CSC, they will remain an open case as a Looked After child/young prison. The social worker will participate in the remand management process and, in the cases where custody is imposed, be part of the sentence planning;
  • When the young person is remanded to secure accommodation, reviews must be carried out in accordance with Children (Secure Accommodation) Regulations 1991 and the review of Children's Cases Regulations 1991 - LAC Procedures. (See Children's Social Care Child In Need Procedures Section 3C “Secure Accommodation” for detailed guidance).


11. Young People Bailed

YOT Responsibilities

  • To provide bail information;
  • To provide bail supervision and support;
  • To cooperate with mechanisms for reviewing young people remanded in custody or securely remanded.

    (Refer to YOT Procedures for details).

CSC Responsibilities

CSC to work in partnership to respond appropriately to the welfare needs of young people who are open cases.


12. Children and Young People Remanded or Sentenced to Custody

YOT Responsibilities

  • The YOT Officer will make the necessary prior arrangements with the Youth Justice Board through their bookings system;
  • The YOT Officer will provide the secure estate with Asset, Post Court Report and booking form on the day of sentencing;
  • The YOT Officer will ensure national standards relating to custodial sentences are adhered to;
  • Where it is an open case, the YOT Officer will provide the named social worker for a young person with a schedule of Detention and Training Order reviews and advise on information needed for such reviews;
  • The YOT officer will facilitate parents/carers’ attendance at the Detention and Training Order reviews;
  • All young people who have committed a violent or sexual crime and received sentences of 12 months or more will be referred through the MAPPA. It will be the responsibility of the YOT to make the referral and, in partnership, to risk manage the young person;
  • Any reported incidences of a Child Protection nature whilst in custody will be shared with the allocated social worker, or in cases where there is no identified social worker, concerns will be passed to the local child protection team. It is expected that the flow of information and outcomes will be shared with all relevant parties;
  • Where it is an open case, the YOT officer will work in partnership with the CSC social worker to achieve appropriate accommodation for the young person’s release. Best practice would indicate this has to be achieved in advance of and reported to the pre release review;
  • The YOT will inform the Newcastle Safeguarding Children Board of all children and young people from Newcastle who are in custody in any establishment and any relevant child protection information.

CSC Roles and Responsibilities

  • CSC will continue to provide services and participate in the sentence planning. If the child is looked after, LAC reviews will continue to be held;
  • CSC will ensure that the child/young person will be visited according to the LAC procedures;
  • All plans made at the Remand or Detention and Training Order reviews will take into account any existing child protection plans, pastoral support plan, individual education plan, care plan, child in need plan, pathway plan or any other relevant plan;
  • It will be primarily CSC role, when a child or young person is looked after, to ensure appropriate accommodation upon release from custody. This process will begin 1 month prior to release in the case of a Detention and Training Order, or sooner when remanded to custody;
  • CSC staff representation within MAPPA at caseworker and management levels;
  • CSC staff will liaise with the secure estate child protection coordinator of the particular establishment regarding child protection concerns, and all information and outcomes will be shared with relevant parties.


Appendix 1: References

End