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5.14.2 Protocol Between Knowsley Youth Offending Service and Knowsley Children’s Social Care

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This detailed chapter focuses on the roles and relationships between Children’s Social Care and staff and Youth Offending Staff in situations where there is potential overlap – principally where Children looked After are involved in the Youth Justice System – including young people who are subject to Remand by the Court and become Looked After as a result.

RELEVANT GUIDANCE

National Standards for Youth Justice (2013)

The Children Act 1989 guidance and regulations – Volume 2: care planning, placement and case review (2015)

RELEVANT CHAPTERS

Remands to Local Authority Accommodation or to Youth Detention Accommodation Procedure

Responsibilities of the Local Authority to former Looked After Children and Young People in Custody Procedure

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

Summary of Policy

The Youth Offending Service is a statutory partnership between The Police, Probation, Children’s Services, Education and Health in accordance with the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. The principal aim of the partnership is to prevent offending by children and young people and to tackle it effectively through a range of measures when it does occur. Children’s Social Care (CSC) and the Youth Offending Service (YOS) are committed to working closely, particularly where there are Child Protection or child welfare concerns, or when a child is being Looked After by Knowsley Borough Council.

Summary of Supporting Procedure

The Protocol between YOS and CSC is a working tool, which provides the framework for how the two organisations will work together. The approach taken should be one of co-operation and problem solving whilst remaining child focused. The Appendices are particularly relevant and should be referred to when dealing with particular matters for example bail and accommodation issues.

Communicating With Service Users or Carers

Learning and speech and language difficulties are prevalent amongst children within the criminal justice system. When following this protocol, if you need to communicate with service users or carers, it is essential that the communication is made in a way that is understandable to them. If the service user has a learning disability, you will need to make sure that any written communication is in an appropriate form and consider whether it would be advisable to have an advocate available for any discussions. Additionally where people may be from a different ethnic origin, it is essential to find out whether or not their first language is English. If it is not, it will be appropriate and essential to enquire whether written or spoken communications need to be, or would best be, in their first language. It is important that information is accessible to all.

This chapter was added to the manual in November 2015.


Contents

  1. Statement of Aims and Principles
  2. Service Provision
  3. Information Sharing
  4. Maintaining Links
  5. Dispute Resolution
  6. Diversity Statement
  7. Working Together
  8. Review

    Appendix 1: Appropriate Adult Services under PACE

    Appendix 2: Accommodation Responsibility Relating to Age and Care Status

    Appendix 3: Bail, Remands and Custodial Sentences

    Appendix 4: Reports

    Appendix 5: Statutory Community Criminal Justice Interventions and Risk Management

    Appendix 6: Performance Indicators and Quality Standards for Children Looked After

    Appendix 7: Parenting Orders

    Appendix 8: Referrals to Children Social Care by YOS

    Appendix 9: Specified Violent and Sexual Offences


1. Statement of Aims and Principles

The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 places a statutory responsibility on all Local Authority departments to consider the implications for crime and disorder reduction in their policies and service provision. Children’s Social Care are actively contributing to this in a number of ways:

  • As a member of the Knowsley Children’s Safeguarding Board;
  • As a Statutory member of the YOS Strategic Management Board;
  • As a budget contributor to the YOS.

CSC and the YOS recognise that there are many areas where partnership working can enhance the quality of their services and improve outcomes, and that these areas can best be delivered within a framework of clear agency principles and responsibilities.

The principal aim of the legislation established under Section 37 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 is “to prevent offending by children and young people”. The YOS will be the main vehicle by which this aim is delivered through the following supporting objectives:

  • The swift administration of justice;
  • Confronting offenders with the consequences of their offending;
  • Tackling risk factors in offending;
  • Punishment proportionate to the seriousness of the offence;
  • Reparation to victims;
  • Reinforcing the responsibilities of parents.

The Local Authority, which includes YOS and Children’s Social Care, has a duty under the Children Act 1989 to “safeguard and promote the welfare of children in need” and to provide a range of appropriate services accordingly. Children Looked After for whom the Local Authority acts as Corporate Parent are a defined category of children in need along with other children who are deemed to be a Child In Need under S17 of the Children Act 1989. These duties should be delivered within the broader context of a Local Authority crime reduction strategy and in tandem with an over-arching safeguarding responsibility for children and young people.

Both Services recognise the responsibilities of parents and this agreement is based on the principle that, wherever possible, parents will be involved unless parental involvement is clearly not in the child’s best interests, or the interest of justice. In respect of Children Looked After, the relationship between the YOS and CSC will, so far as is possible, mirror that between the parents and the YOS with any other child. The allocation of respective responsibilities reflects this principle.

The purpose of this Protocol is to define areas of responsibility concerning service provision, practice arrangements and information sharing so that common principles of intervention are established and that where different demands exist between the parties to this agreement, there are measures in place for them to be reconciled.

Children’s Social Care and the YOS are both committed to the principle that meeting the needs of a young person often requires a multi-skilled and, therefore, joint approach and that this approach will take priority over agency boundary issues. There is also recognition that while interventions will be constrained by resource issues, they will not be resource led.

Links with other policies/procedures


2. Service Provision

The YOS is required to ensure the provision of a number of core services either by providing the service directly, or through another Local Authority department or agency. This section defines the respective role of the CSC and the YOS in respect of provision of those core services. Particular attention is given to the role of the CSC in relation to its responsibilities to Children Looked After and other Children In Need.

These include:

Appropriate Adult under PACE/ Accommodation Responsibilities Appendix 1
Accommodation Appendix 2
Bail Remand & Custodial Sentences Appendix 3
Reports Appendix 4
Statutory Community Criminal Justice Interventions and Risk Management Appendix 5
Quality Standards for CLA Appendix 6
Parenting Orders Appendix 7
Referrals to Children’s Services by YOS Appendix 8
List of Specified Violent and Sexual Offences Appendix 9


3. Information Sharing

General Principle - Effective joint agency practice will depend to a large extent on the sharing of relevant information between agencies. Section 115 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 enables agencies and individuals to disclose information, where that disclosure is necessary or expedient for the purposes of enabling the YOS to discharge its primary functions. It is the responsibility of both services for an Information Sharing Protocol to be in place to ensure the legitimacy of these arrangements.

Specific Cases - The YOS and CSC will exchange information relevant to the referral, assessment, planning and review processes in the following individual cases:

  • On children/young people currently Looked After by the Local Authority referred to the YOS;
  • On children previously Looked After by the Local Authority referred to the YOS;
  • On children/young people currently an open case to the Local Authority as a “child in need” under S17 of the Children Act 1989;
  • On children/young people previously an open case to the Local Authority as a “child in need” under S17 of the Children Act 1989;
  • On any child or young person reasonably suspected by a member of the YOS to be suffering, or likely to suffer Significant Harm as defined by Knowsley Safeguarding Children Board Procedures Manual, Significant Harm and Sources of Stress Procedure, The Concept of Significant Harm;
  • Where risk to staff or wider community have been identified.

In all cases where appropriate the relevant authority will advise the children and their parents that appropriate information will be shared, unless to do so would compromise a child’s safety and wellbeing.

The YOS will make enquiries in order to establish whether a young person is known to CSC and will establish contact with CSC to notify them of YOS involvement.

  • Where such a young person open to CSC is assessed to require further services from the CSC, the YOS will contact the relevant team directly, supported by the agreed procedure for CAF (first 2 pages) and an ASSET;
  • Where a young person known to YOS, not currently open to CSC, is assessed as requiring services, the YOS will complete a MARF as would any other external agency (see Appendix 8: Referrals to Children Social Care by YOS).

The YOS will provide to the CSC aggregated information on its involvement with Children Looked After and Other Children in Need. The CSC will provide the YOS with aggregated information on Children Looked After and Other Children in Need for the purpose of the Youth Justice Statutory Strategic Plan.


4. Maintaining Links

In order to ensure efficient and effective partnership working, a communication structure will be established with nominated staff links to include the following:

  • Nominated YOS Operational Manager to liaise with nominated equivalent manager from CSC on a monthly basis;
  • Named Independent Reviewing Officer linked to the YOS to provide consultation and guidance where required in relation to safeguarding matters and contribution to Quality Assurance;
  • YOS and CSC (or equivalents) to meet bi monthly with attendance by CSC Improvement Manager as required.


5. Dispute Resolution

This agreement is designed to provide the framework to reduce the areas of uncertainty between the CSC and the YOS. In the event that there is a dispute between the parties to this agreement the principle is that it should be resolved at the management level closest to the area of dispute. In the event that it cannot be resolved at that level is should be escalated appropriately, if necessary, to the respective Heads of Service or equivalent within YOS and CSC. The final level of appeal is the Executive Director for Children’s Services. Where relevant KSCB escalation procedures remain applicable and should be used in accordance with KSCB procedures.


6. Diversity Statement

All the agencies who are signatories to this protocol seek to ensure that it does not disadvantage any groups, or individuals on the grounds of their ethnicity, gender, culture, religion, sexual orientation or disability. All agencies should also seek to promote and celebrate diversity and give due regard to equality of opportunity.


7. Working Together

The YOS and CSC will ensure there are processes consistently applied across the services to ensure that staff in both agencies:

  1. Maintain an ongoing dialogue on all areas of common interest to the Borough;
  2. Alert each other to key legislative and policy requirements which either will or may necessitate changes to procedures or practice;
  3. Develop shared practice guidance which is informed by national and local requirements and by learning on a case by case basis;
  4. Share management information which ensures an understanding of the outcomes for children and young people where both YOS and CSC have been jointly concerned;
  5. Promote best practice including Annual Workshops between the two agencies;
  6. Facilitation of joint practice audits to monitor performance and identify training needs.


8. Review

The signatories of this protocol will meet at a minimum on a quarterly basis for monitoring purposes and be responsible for ensuring an annual formal review.

Signed:
Dionne Atkinson

 

Name: Dionne Atkinson
Title: Head of Service
Service: Youth Offending Service

 

Signed:
Peter Murphy

 

Name: Peter Murphy
Title: Assistant Executive Director
Service: Children’s Social Care

 

Date: July 2015
Review: July 2016


Appendix 1: Appropriate Adult Services under PACE

It is the responsibility of the YOS to ensure that an Appropriate Adult service is provided to all children and young people who are questioned by the Police and where a parent or guardian is unable or unwilling to attend. In addition the YOS will retain a record of all Appropriate Adult activity in Knowsley and ensure that all parents are advised of the outcome within 24 hours.

The role of Appropriate Adult for young people up to 5pm will be undertaken, or co-ordinated by the YOS. This includes young people placed in residential care in Knowsley, who are not normally resident. Interviews commencing after 5pm will be provided by the Emergency Duty Team (EDT) (see Emergency Duty Team Practice Guidance). It is recognised that the best person to act as an appropriate adult is someone known to the young person. Where a young person is CLA and not known to the YOS the preferred option would be for a member of staff at the children’s home or the Young Person’s Social Worker to act as Appropriate Adult. It is also an expectation for Foster Carers to attend to support young people placed with them. In such instances both Social Worker and Foster Carer would be acting as Corporate Parent on behalf of the Local Authority. Where this is not possible or when a young person is also known to the YOS negotiation should take place with the YOS regarding the best person to attend.

If the decision is that the young person requires Local Authority care following the interview, the responsibility to provide suitable accommodation lies under PACE S38 with the Local Authority (Sec 21 Children Act 1989). This decision will be made according to the principles outlined in the Joint Merseyside Protocol for the provision of Local Authority Accommodation 2014. The responsibility for the arrangements and provision sit primarily between the Police and Children’s Social Care.


Appendix 2: Accommodation Responsibility Relating to Age and Care Status

This must be read in conjunction with the KMBC Joint Young Persons Housing and Homeless Prevention Protocol for 16 and 17 year olds which provides the relevant detailed operational guidance and pathways.

However as an overview, broadly speaking the responsibility for accommodating a young person depends on their age and care status, the law is as follows:

Under-16s

  • The Children’s Act 1989 places clear responsibility for this group with CSC and they must provide accommodation under Section 20 of the Act, or apply for a Care Order under Section 31 if preventative services fail and a young person becomes homeless.

Whilst responsibility for accommodation of 16 and 17 year olds has until recent been less clear, recent judgements in the House of Lord has clarified responsibilities in that:

  • All 16 to 17-year-olds in need of accommodation are entitled to a child in need assessment under section 17 of the Children’s Act 1989. Under section 20 of the Children’s Act, Social Care may provide accommodation for any young person deemed to be a child in need in accordance with section 17 Children Act 1989. Local authorities should presume that any lone, homeless child should be provided with accommodation and under section 20 of the Children Act 1989 unless the child is not in the local authority’s judgment (based on an initial screening assessment), a child “in need”. In nearly all cases the impact of a child being homeless and their parents being unable to provide them with suitable accommodation or care would result in such significant challenges to the child’s welfare, that the child will be a child “in need”. Where the criteria for section 20 have been met children’s services do not have discretion to choose to use section 17 powers instead to provide accommodation. The effect of providing accommodation under section 20 is of course that the child becomes “looked after” within the meaning of section 22 of the Act. Section 27 of the Children Act 1989 empowers Local Authorities (that are children’s services authorities) to ask other authorities, including any local housing authority, for “help in the exercise of any of their functions” under Part III of the 1989 Act. The requested authority must provide help if it is compatible with their own statutory or other duties and does not unduly prejudice the discharge of their own functions. However this does not mean avoiding ownership or passing of responsibility; rather that they can ask another authority to use its powers to help them discharge theirs;
  • Eligible or Relevant children as defined by the Children (Leaving Care) Act who are not deemed to be a vulnerable child in need under the Children’s Act 1989 will have a priority need under the terms of the Housing Act 1996 as amended by the Homeless Act 2002 and the Priority Needs Order 2001 and, as such, are the responsibility of the local housing authority.

Over-18s

  • Young people over the age of 18 have no statutory entitlement to housing, but may be eligible for assistance from the local Housing Authority, if they can prove they are homeless and vulnerable, and therefore in priority need in accordance with the terms of the Housing Act 1996 and they may be eligible for assistance from social services if they are able to prove they are destitute under the terms of the National Assistance Act 1948.


Appendix 3: Bail, Remands and Custodial Sentences

On 3rd December 2012 the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) introduced legislation which seeks to reduce the number of young people remanded in custody unnecessarily. It ensures that all young people who are remanded in custody become ‘Looked After’. The onus is on YOS and CSC to work together to provide appropriate bail packages for those young people whose risk does not justify a remand in custody. There is a need for good assessment in respect of young people’s needs and close liaison regarding the support that both agencies can provide for the Young person. Suitable accommodation will be a key issue.

See Remands to Local Authority Accommodation or to Youth Detention Accommodation Procedure.

Bail

Occasionally a young person, for whom bail is being considered, does not have a suitable address for bail and or parents/carers are refusing to accommodate. In these circumstances the YOS court Officer/duty officer will contact the parents/carers to reinforce their Parental Responsibility. Should parents/carers still refuse to accommodate every effort should be made by YOS and CSC to find suitable accommodation in order to avoid a condition to reside as directed by CSC. It is important that CSC is advised of this potential situation at the earliest opportunity. If a child is known to CSC the allocated social worker should be contacted. If the child is not known then Children’s Social Care access team (integrated within the MASH) (see Knowsley MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub) (Knowsley Safeguarding Children Board Procedures)) should be advised.

If the court subsequently make a condition to reside as directed by CSC, CSC will be responsible for determining the placement of the young person on bail with assistance from the YOS in respect of assessment needs. If a young person is bailed to live as directed by CSC it is the responsibility of CSC to inform YOS of any failure to comply and YOS will then administer the breach of bail.

Remands into Local Authority Accommodation (RILAA)

RILAA are one part of a continuum of remand services that include bail with support, Court Ordered Secure Remands (COSR) and remands to custody. As part of the overall remand strategy in Knowsley, the YOS will seek to propose supported bail packages to the court in order that only those young people whose offences are so serious or the risk to the public is so great that remand is necessary. If a young person is aged 17 years or under and is refused bail by the courts they can be remanded into Local Authority Accommodation. The court has a duty to consult with CSC regarding any conditions prior to the making of a RILAA and it is therefore essential that CSC are made aware of the situation at the earliest opportunity. The CSC staff member receiving this information MUST consult with a manager regarding how to proceed. Whenever this situation can be anticipated a YOS emergency risk of custody meeting should be held as outlined below.

Children who are RILAA by the Court are by definition in Local Authority care for the period of the remand. The case management of these children is the responsibility of the YOS and Knowsley CSC. If the child is already in the care of the local authority prior to the remand, the YOS Court staff should contact CSC for confirmation that the placement remains available and is suitable. In all other cases the YOS Court Officer should contact the CSC Duty and Assessment Team or appropriate community Team if the case is open.

The YOS does not have accommodation of its own and the statutory duty for the search and provision of accommodation lies with CSC. However the YOS worker at Court will assist where appropriate in respect of assessment of needs and practical tasks. If a young person is remanded to Local Authority Accommodation the LA have a duty to produce them in court.

The YOS will allocate a case worker for the remand period and there should be liaison with the social worker and if appropriate residential workers during the remand. In remanding a child to the care of the local authority, the Court would expect that all reasonable steps are taken to avoid further offending. However, unless the Court has imposed specific restrictions on the accommodation to be provided by the local authority when imposing the remand, the remand placement and any changes to it can be made at the discretion of DfE.

If the placement changes during the remand period this should be done in consultation with the YOS.

Youth Detention Accommodation (YDA)

Section 130 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act (2001) amends section 23 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1969, extending the criteria for remands either to local authority Secure Accommodation or to secure estate accommodation for 12-16 year olds. In addition the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) 2012 introduces a simplified remand framework with17-year-olds now subject to the same remand framework as 12 to 16 year-olds and introducing new legal tests for remands into custody with an emphasis on reducing unnecessary remands. All young people remanded in custody will become Children Looked After (CLA). The Act requires at least one of two conditions to be met for a child or young person who has been charged with or convicted of an offence to be remanded in youth detention accommodation. The two tests include:

  • A requirement relating to the seriousness of the offence which must be either a violent or sexual offence or one that is punishable if committed by an adult with a sentence of imprisonment of fourteen years or more (which is a current test); or
  • Having a ‘realistic prospect’ of receiving a custodial sentence for the offence the court is currently considering and either:
    1. A previous history of committing imprisonable offences whilst on remand; or
    2. They have a recent history of absconding and committing offences whilst on remand.

In the event of an YDA the YOS will complete an assessment indicating the child or young person’s vulnerability and will liaise with the Youth Justice Board’s placement team to identify a suitable vacancy in the ‘secure estate’. Where the young person is an open case to any other service sector other than the YOS e.g. the child is in care then the YOS will consult the relevant team regarding the child’s vulnerability.

The secure estate consists of places in local authority secure children’s homes (LASCHs), secure training centres (STCs) and Young Offender Institutions (YOIs). Males aged 15 to 17 may be remanded to YOIs. The YOS court officer will notify a YOS manager and relevant Children’s Social Care Department of all custodial remands.

A YOS worker and a social worker must be allocated to the case as the young person effectively enters local authority care for the period of the remand (Section 23 (1) of the 1969 Children and Young Persons Act). The YOS are required by National Standards to convene a remand planning meeting within 5 working days and to review the case regularly with a view to supporting an application for bail. An initial CLA Review should be held within 10 days of the first remand placement and reconvened on a monthly basis until the end of the remand period. The YOS worker and allocated social worker should work closely together on this to avoid duplication of work, but the responsibility for providing the secure estate with the relevant looked after documentation lies with the allocated social worker.

Mr Justice Munby’s judgment (29/11/02) ruled that:

The Children Act 1989 applies to children in prison service establishments, subject to the necessary requirements of imprisonment. Accordingly, the functions, powers, duties, responsibilities and obligations conferred or imposed on local authorities by the Act (esp. sections 17 and 47 of the act) do not cease to arise merely because a child is in a Young Offender Institution or other prison establishment; however such functions, powers, duties, responsibilities and obligations take effect and operate subject to the necessary requirements of imprisonment”.

Emergency Remand Panel meetings:

The emphasis is to prevent young people from being remanded in to custody unnecessarily or where appropriate to offer the court viable bail packages if a young person has been remanded in to custody. In order to facilitate this YOS have introduced Emergency Remand Panel meetings. These take place where a young person is wanted on warrant and it is believed that when they appear in Court they are highly likely to be remanded in custody. They are also convened when a young person has been remanded in custody. Due to the nature of these cases meetings will often need to be convened at short notice, so it will not always be possible to have all the relevant people at the meeting but efforts must be made to elicit all relevant views for the meeting.

The aim of the meeting is to collate all relevant risk information, review this information and agree if a bail application should be supported. There should be a presumption for bail unless the young person is assessed as a high or very high risk of serious harm. A package is then put together to offer the Court at the next hearing, with all participants identifying what they are able to offer to support the bail application and address the risks identified. When a young person is an open case to CSC it is important that the Social Worker participates in the meeting, particularly in situations where there are accommodation issues. There is also a need for a representative from CSC at meetings where there is a high risk of a remand in custody and YOS wish to consider an alternative to the young person returning to the home address. When a young person is not an open case to CSC but there is a high risk of a remand to custody and YOS wish to consider an alternative to the home address, then a CSC Team Manager will attend the YOS risk of custody meeting.

Court Process:

The YOS may not be aware that a young person is at risk of a remand in custody until they appear in Court. Any liaison with CSC regarding alternative accommodation will require an urgent response and in these circumstances the YOS Duty Manager should liaise with the Social Worker if this is a current case to CSC or in their absence their Line Manager. If there is no current CSC involvement the YOS Duty Manager should contact the MASH identifying that this is a potential remand to custody which needs a referral to CSC. The MASH should then confirm which CSC Team this is being sent to and who the Manager is for that Team. Liaison should then take place between the two Managers regarding potential Accommodation.

If this situation arises on a Saturday or Bank Holiday the YOS Duty Manager should contact EDT. They should make clear that this is a potential remand in custody situation and should be flagged to the co-ordinator and Senior Manager on call for Knowsley. CSC will then make contact with the YOS Duty manager to discuss potential placements.

If there is a disagreement either prior to or at Court in respect of which Local Authority is responsible for providing the remand bed the YOS Duty Manager should negotiate with the relevant Head of Service from CSC. Again this will require an urgent response from CSC.

Once YOS become aware that a young person has been securely remanded the Court Duty Officer should notify the MASH via the normal channels. If Court has taken place on a Saturday or Bank Holiday then notification should be through EDT.

Detention and Training Orders and Section 91 Orders (Powers of Criminal Court (Sentencing) Act 2000, sections 100 to 107, section 91)

These Orders are the responsibility of the YOS, including cases where the young person is Looked After. In such cases CSC will undertake the range of duties commensurate with their role as a Corporate Parent which would include attending review and planning meetings.

Where there has been significant involvement from CSC prior to a young person receiving a DTO or Section 91 Order, especially when a young person becomes Looked After, CSC will not cease, and will attend pre and post release meetings.

Those young people who prior to custody, were accommodated under section 20 should retain their allocated social workers unless, with YOS and Children’s Social Care agreement, it is believed that the YOS can effectively manage all of the YP’s needs, including their accommodation needs on release. For cases which meet this criteria, planning for discharge should begin as soon as possible. The allocated Social Worker along with the YOS worker will attend the initial sentence planning meeting, reviews and discharge meeting. It is the responsibility of the YOS worker to ensure that the social worker and any other relevant CSC staff are notified of the relevant dates for these meetings.

With regard to Children who are Looked After, Statutory Reviews of the young person’s Care Plan or Pathway Plan should continue and Children’s Social Care should maintain contact with the young person and ensure ongoing contact with siblings/family is facilitated, where this is part of the Care Plan.

The YOS Worker will ensure that the Social Worker is invited to all review meetings at the YOI LASCH or STC. When considering where the young person should live on release from custody, Children’s Social Care will make appropriate plans for suitable accommodation/care in advance of the end of sentence, preferably prior to the mid-term review and keep the YOS informed of developments in this area.

Release of Children in Care from Remand or Custodial Settings

It is the responsibility of CSC to ensure that young people who are in the Care of the Local Authority are collected and transported to their proposed placement upon release from a custodial (or remand) establishment.

Safeguarding Responsibilities Whilst in Custody:

If a child in custody makes allegations about abuse that happened before they entered the custodial establishment, or it becomes clear that they may be at risk of Significant Harm on leaving the establishment, the local authority in whose area the custodial establishment is located will need to initiate Section 47 Enquiries in accordance with the Children Act 1989 and Working Together to Safeguard Children guidance; negotiate transfer to the local authority in whose area the child was living or will be living. In addition Knowsley YOS are to notify CSC of the incident, who are to take action in accordance with KSCB safeguarding and local procedures.

If a child in custody dies, or where a child in custody sustains a potentially life threatening injury, or serious and permanent impairment of health or development, then chapter 5 of Working Together to Safeguard Children applies, and KSCB should consider whether or not to commission a Serious Case Review. In each of these situations the operational managers are to notify the respective heads of service via line management using established formal briefing arrangements and the child’s record should be secured. The YOS will also follow the YJB guidelines on serious incidents.


Appendix 4: Reports

In all cases the provision of assessment reports for rehabilitation/change programmes associated with Triage/Out of court disposals will be the responsibility of the YOS.

In all cases the provision of Pre-Sentence Reports (PSRs) to Courts in criminal proceedings and for Referral Order Panels is the responsibility of the YOS.

Sexually harmful behaviour assessments for Court must be completed to a particular specification and require comprehensive assessment of risk including victim awareness. The YOS will have responsibility for co-ordinating this area of work which has come via the criminal court process. Joint work/funding will be undertaken where appropriate subject to negotiation. CSC will be responsible for the provision for this type of assessment for young people who are not subject to criminal proceedings in relation to the actual offence.

The above provisions apply to all children and young people “usually resident” within the Local Authority area requiring a report. Where the child/young person is looked after by the Local Authority, or is an open case to the CSC as a Child In Need the YOS Officer responsible for the preparation of the report will liaise with the CSC case holder, for access to relevant information to be contained within the report.

Funding for CLA from other Local Authorities placed in Knowsley would be negotiated with the relevant Local Authority.


Appendix 5: Statutory Community Criminal Justice Interventions and Risk Management

The YOS will be the primary agency responsible for scoping, implementing and reviewing criminal justice disposals and court ordered interventions (orders) available for responding to children and young people in criminal proceedings.

These orders will be undertaken by a designated “responsible officer” of the YOS under the management and supervision of a manager within the YOS.

These orders will be carried out in accordance with National Standards and guidance provided by the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales.

Where the child/young person is Looked After by the Local Authority or is an open case to the CSC as a Child In Need the YOS Officer responsible for the order or programme, will liaise with the CSC case holder for access to relevant information. This may inform the content of the order, or programme. The responsible officers will liaise with the case holder on the progress of the order or programme. The responsible officer of the YOS will actively contribute to the care plan or review of the child/young person, as requested by the CSC case holder. This will ensure that the work undertaken is compatible with both YOS and CSC care plans and that the child or young person can reasonably undertake the interventions.

Transfers out of Knowsley

When a young person subject to a YOS statutory order is placed outside of the Knowsley area, Knowsley YOS will request the local Youth Offending Service to care-take that order on their behalf. If the young person remains in that accommodation for more than three months, full case responsibility will then be transferred to the YOS local to that area. There may be occasions when Knowsley remain the responsible Local Authority for that young person, in these situations the YOS Head of Service or Operational Manager will be available to act in an advisory capacity on YOS matters relevant to that young person.

Risk Management

The Youth Offending Service adheres to a risk led approach to case management. This approach is used in the assessment, planning and intervention stages of all young people ranging from those accessing YOS voluntary prevention through to young people subject to community and/or custodial sentences. Young people are assessed in respect of the following of risk:

  1. Re-Offending;
  2. Risk of harm to others;
  3. Vulnerability.

Children assessed as a high risk in any of the 3 domains will be referred to an initial Risk Management Meeting which is chaired by a Senior YOS Manager. The Youth Offending Service is responsible for identifying and inviting the relevant agencies including where appropriate, representatives from CSC. If a young person is an open case to CSC, then a representative from this service (usually the allocated social worker) is expected to attend both initial and ongoing reviews. In the event that the child is not open to CSC then a request should be made by the YOS to the Head of Service in CSC for a CSC representative of an appropriate level to attend the meeting. The appropriate level may vary according to the nature of the meeting.

The purpose of the meeting is to:

  • Verify the risk level and risk type;
  • Assess eligibility for referral to MAPPA;
  • Consider appropriate referrals to CSC and other agencies;
  • Agree a joint agency risk management plan and/or vulnerability plan for the young person.

There will be occasions when a young person is a Child Looked After (CLA) or on a Child Protection Plan (CP) and therefore subject to CSC procedures and also identified as a high risk and therefore at the same time subject to YOS procedures. Given that many of the issues will be the same, it is important that work is not duplicated but also that each Agency manages their own processes. Whilst the Young Person remains assessed by the YOS as high risk a High Risk Panel will take place once every 3 months or more frequently if the risk necessitates. The young person’s Social Worker or representative must attend the meeting. Given that the areas discussed will mirror the information discussed at a CLA/CP Planning meeting, CSC may wish to use this meeting as one of their scheduled planning meetings. If this is appropriate at the end of the High Risk Panel meeting any additional issues relating to the CLA/CP planning can be addressed. The YOS will be responsible for chairing the risk meeting. It would be useful for the IRO to attend these meetings so that there is a consistency of approach in addressing all the relevant risk issues via each Agency process. Where this is not possible minutes of the meeting will be sent to the IRO who should ensure that relevant issues are reflected in the CLA process.

Given the importance of dual planning in these cases it is essential that YOS are invited to and attend all CLA planning meetings. Whilst there is a recognition that CLA Review meetings should be kept as small as possible given YOS pivotal role, consideration should always be given to them being invited and young people should always be asked for permission to include their YOS Officer.


Appendix 6: Performance Indicators and Quality Standards for Children Looked After

The YOS and the CSC share the same objectives with respect to Children Looked After (CLA) that is to reduce the rate of offending of Children Looked After and Child In Need (CiN) closer to the level for all children of the same age living in the same area. The YOS and the CSC should if required agree an action plan to meet this objective and review this regularly.

In dealing with a Child Looked After and other Children in Need, YOS staff will liaise closely with the CSC case holders, foster carers and residential units in carrying out the work of the YOS. The role of the responsible YOS Officer is to provide relevant information to the CSC case holder, in respect of proposals to reduce the prospect of re-offending of looked after children and other children in need. The role of the CSC case holder or residential staff includes:

  • Arranging attendance at a Police station when a Child Looked After is to be interviewed by the Police or answer bail;
  • Arranging transport to and support at Court;
  • Facilitating attendance of the child at the times and places required by the YOS Officer, under the terms of any Orders or programmes administered by the YOS;
  • Where a young person is the subject of a Bail Supervision and Support Package, liaison with YOS Bail Supervision staff;
  • Keeping the YOS staff informed of any changes in circumstances of the CLA e.g. change of address, change of school, outside area offences, any significant change in the level of risk to or from the young person;
  • Providing any material assistance to the young person to ensure that they are able to comply with the requirements of YOS intervention e.g. provision of bus fares;
  • Participation in the assessment, planning and review process of the YOS for the discharge of programme and orders with respect to the child/young person.

The YOS will have responsibility for all Out of Court Disposals, Reparation Orders, Youth Rehabilitation Orders, Detention and Training Orders and S91 Detention. Within this area of work the YOS will ensure that the child receives a quality service in line with the requirements of National Standards and the principles of effective practice. This will mean:

National Standards for Youth Justice (2013)

  • Regular contact with child/young person as required by National Standards;
  • Sharing with the CSC case holder of YOS assessment, plans and reviews of the child/young person;
  • A regular flow of information to the CSC about the progress of the child/young person;
  • Participation by the responsible officer of the YOS in the assessment, planning and review processes of the CSC for the child/young person.


Appendix 7: Parenting Orders

Parenting Orders may be made in criminal or civil proceedings. The YOS has the responsibility for nominating responsible officers for (criminal) Parenting Orders. However, it is recognised that normally the CSC will have the skills to undertake assessments and run Parenting Orders with regard to matters in the Family Proceedings Court. Equally it is anticipated that the YOS will be best placed to undertake assessments where the proceedings are in the criminal courts, or related to a young person’s offending behaviour. Responsibility for assessments and orders will therefore normally be undertaken according to whether the case is civil, or criminal. However, there will be exceptions when each agency will request the expertise of the other. These will be agreed on a case by case basis and in the spirit of partnership.

Education Services are responsible for assessments and Parenting Orders in respect of prosecutions under the section 443, or 444 of the Education Act 1996.

Joint work between the CSC, YOS and Education will be undertaken in accordance with the Knowsley Positive and Responsible Parenting Strategy.

Breach action, once decided upon, must be referred to the Police for investigation who in turn will give the results of their investigation to the Crown Prosecution Service. The CPS will then determine whether to prosecute.


Appendix 8: Referrals to Children Social Care by YOS

In the course of work with children and young people the YOS may need to make referrals to the CSC for assessments and services, the case will be referred using the agreed KSCB processes together with a copy of the most recent YOS statutory assessment and any other relevant assessment e.g. Early Help Assessment if available.

Child Protection:

If a member of the YOS has reason to believe that a child is suffering, or likely to suffer Significant Harm requiring Section 47 (Children Act 1989) inquiries they will make an immediate referral to CSC. This referral process will follow that prescribed in local KSCB safeguarding procedures. This will include situations where there is an allegation of abuse by a professional working with children; both CSC and YOS should ensure that the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) is notified of such instances. The procedures must also be followed for a child or young person who is alleged to have committed an abusive act(s) towards another person as specified within the Criminal Justice Act 2005 see Appendix 9: Specified Violent and Sexual Offences.

When making such referrals YOS staff must alert their Line Manager immediately, who will evaluate the assessment and advise, following KSCB's Multi-Agency Safeguarding Children Procedures, on the appropriateness of a referral to CSC. However, the absence of their immediate line manager should not be the cause of any undue delay.

The YOS referrer will be expected to attend a Strategy Meeting or Initial Child Protection Conference. The YOS Worker should contribute towards Child Protection Assessments/plans on a case by case basis as appropriate and in relevant cases the YOS Worker must undertake an assessment (using ASSET) in accordance with the YJB National Standards. National Standards for Youth Justice (2013).

Children in Need:

Where a member of the YOS considers that the risks demonstrated from an ASSET Assessment indicate that the child may meet the local eligibility criteria of a Child in Need under S17 of the Children Act 1989, they will make a referral to the CSC via the MASH team. A referral by MASH to CSC CPT service who will undertake a Single Assessment of the child’s situation; which YOS will be required to contribute to. The Single Assessment will determine the needs of the child/young person e.g. Section 17, Section 47, signposting to Early Help Services. Both the ASSET and any other assessments e.g. Early Help should be made available to assist CSC who will have the lead responsibility for care planning in relation to the outcome of the assessment. The YOS will retain “responsible officer” status for the purpose of discharging core Youth Justice Services.

16+ Services:

Where a member of the YOS Team considers that a young person previously Looked After by a Local Authority, requires support they shall make a referral to the CSC via MASH. If CSC considers that the young person prima facie meets the eligibility criteria for care leavers’ services, they will commence an assessment process. The YOS member making the referral (and any other relevant YOS personnel) may, thereafter, be asked to contribute to the assessment process to determine the needs of the young person in the case and the contribution that the YOS might make to any resultant plan.

Risk to Children Offences: Children charged with sexual or serious violent offences against other children

YOS should consider making a referrals/ request for Service to CSC in all cases where there is sexual offending and/or the offence is defined as a serious specified offence under schedule 15 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (Appendix 9: Specified Violent and Sexual Offences). A decision not to do so must be made in consultation with their line manager.

Following referral to CSC a Strategy Meeting should be held and the Case Manager and, if appropriate a YOS Manager/Senior Practitioner will attend. CSC will follow their internal and KSCB procedures and any decision regarding section 47 investigations will be made at the Strategy Meeting.

YOS will continue to discharge functions in relation to any continuing criminal justice Order. In the event that the young person is bailed to reside outside of the Authority, therefore involving YOS and cross boundary delivery of supervision, the relevant Operational Managers should agree clear lines of accountability at the outset with a particular emphasis on risk management and review arrangements.

If an offence/allegation also constitutes a Serious Incident, as defined by the Youth Justice Board (YJB) or a Serious Case Review as outlined in Working Together 2015 then this will be discussed with respective Heads of Service and the relevant YJB and KSCB procedure will be followed.

Offences/allegations which are community or media sensitive should be brought to the attention of the respective Heads of Service for YOS and CSC who will ensure notifications to communications and Directors as appropriate.

Any child or young people who has committed an offence against another child or young person and assessed as posing a medium, high or very risk of harm to either specific individuals or the public, will be subject to YOS Risk Management Procedures. A Risk Management Plan will be compiled and if the risk is high or very high a Risk Management Meeting will be convened within a specific timescale, dependant on the level of risk. A YOS Operational Manager will chair this meeting, and representatives from all agencies involved in the case will be invited to this meeting.

During this process it will be determined if, due to the level of risk, MAPPA (Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements) should apply and if necessary a referral to National Probation Service Merseyside will be made and any forthcoming MAPPP (Multi Agency Public Protection Panel) meetings will be chaired by the Probation Provider. At both these types of meeting a detailed multi agency plan will be formulated to contain, manage and where possible reduce the risk.

In certain cases, in addition to the above process, there will be other forums necessary which will consider how best to manage the child or young person's behaviour and the risk posed in order to formulate protection plans. When children are subject to statutory intervention from both CSC and YOS there should be agreement on which processes can be dovetailed in order to avoid duplication and ensure integration of plans.

Sexually Harmful/Offending Behaviours

In relation to sexual offending the above procedures apply; often child perpetrators of such behaviours are displaying some form of distress/trauma and therefore assessments should not just focus on the harm they pose to others but also their own safeguarding needs. Responding to children displaying inappropriate and harmful sexual behaviours requires a high level of agency co-operation and information sharing, both to reduce the risk of harm/offending and assist in intervention strategies. When identifying such children practitioners need to make reference to the KSCB Policy and Procedure in relation to Inappropriate and Harmful Sexual Behaviour 2015. See KSCB Children and Young People who Display Sexually Inappropriate and Harmful Behaviour Policy and Procedure Proposal. This document provides detailed guidance as to who does what and when for those children both within and out of the criminal justice system.

Risk to Children Assessment/Notification and Review

Any young person who commits an offence defined as a sexual or serious specified offence under schedule 15 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 against a child as outlined in Appendix 9: Specified Violent and Sexual Offences requires an assessment with regard to their ongoing risk to children. This assessment should be carried out by the YOS case manager and based upon all available information from relevant agencies including Police, health and CSC. This assessment of ongoing risk to children would sit alongside as opposed to replace any required CSC assessment under Sec 17 or Sec 47 of the Children’s Act 2004.

Where a young person who has commissioned such an offence is assessed as not posing an ongoing risk to children this should be recorded on the YOS case management system. A YOS Operational manager must be notified by the YOS case manager via YOIS notification.

YOS should not keep registers of children previously identified as a risk, instead they must flag this status on the child’s individual case management systems and this must be readily available to YOS Operational Managers. This status must be reviewed as part of the regular review and updating of assessments as set out in Home Office National Standards for Youth Justice.

Assessments which conclude there is a risk to children should be shared with other agencies as appropriate and as determined by local information sharing protocols. Likewise outcomes of reviews of assessments which conclude that the child no longer present a risk to other children must be relayed by the YOS to other agencies as appropriate.

If a Young person is deemed to still present a risk to children at the end of their YOS supervision, the exit strategy meeting MUST identify the strategy for ongoing risk management. A representative from CSC must attend this meeting.

When YOS are unclear regarding the appropriateness of risk to children status the assessment should be undertaken jointly by YOS and CSC


Appendix 9: Specified Violent and Sexual Offences

Click here to view Appendix 9: Specified Violent and Sexual Offences

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