About Slough Youth Offending Team
Six key objectives the Youth Offending Team works towards:
- The swift administration of justice so that every young person accused of breaking the law has the matter resolved without delay
- To confront young offenders with the consequences of their offending
- To put in place interventions that tackle the specific factors which put a young person at risk of re-offending
- To make sure that the punishment is proportionate to the seriousness of the crime
- To reinforce the responsibilities of the parents and to provide advice and guidance to them
- To make certain that young offenders are encouraged to make reparation to their victim(s).
Who we are
Following the 1998 Crime and Disorder Act, Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) were established in all local government areas in England and Wales.
These teams are tasked with carrying out all youth justice services within their area. Slough Youth Offending Team officially came into being on April 1, 2000.
The Slough YOT is a multi-agency team that brings together the experience of police, social care, probation, education and health, in order to prevent offending and re-offending by children and young people.
Having representatives from all agencies based in one team helps to ensure that a more comprehensive and cohesive service is provided.
It is the aim of the Slough YOT to engage young offenders at an early stage, and in the context of their families, so that offending behaviour can be tackled before it becomes entrenched.
The Slough YOT operates as part of Slough Children’s Services Trust, an independent, not-for-profit company, established in October 2015 to provide social care and support services to children, young people and families in Slough. The YOT is working towards achieving the Trust’s vision of ensuring children in Slough are safe, secure and successful.
What we do
The aims of the YOT are:
- to reduce the incidents of young offenders sentenced to custody
- to contribute to the protection of the public through supporting local crime reduction strategies
- to provide earlier and more effective interventions when a young person is at risk of offending or has re-offended
- to implement services that are appropriate for the multi-racial community of Slough, while ensuring that our practice is targeted at eliminating all forms of discrimination
- to enable young people to repay a debt to victims and the community via reparation.
Through detailed assessments and discussions with the young person and their family, the YOT will try to determine the causes of the offending behaviour and the specific issues involved in order to identify any risks they may pose to themselves and others. Steps will then be taken to facilitate a change of the offending lifestyle.
Slough YOT works closely with a number of other agencies in order to provide a full range of services for the young people. These include social care, health, education departments/organisations etc.
Services provided by the YOT
- Supervision of young offenders who are sentenced to any kind of Order by the Court (i.e. Youth Rehabilitation Order, Referral Order etc.)
- Acting as the appropriate adult during police interviews when a parent is not available
- Supplying bail information and bail support services
- Conducting substance abuse assessments and referrals
- Preparing reports for the Courts
- Providing through care and post-release supervision of young persons sentenced to custody
- Offering young people leisure activities to enable them to use their free time constructively
- Assisting young people who are of school age and who are not in school to re-enter school, or find an alternative arrangement to meet their educational needs
- Offering parental and family support through individual and group work
- Liaising with victims in order to obtain their opinions and give them an opportunity to participate in restorative conferencing
- Giving support to young people who are remanded to local authority care or custody.
Volunteering with Slough YOT
We are looking for committed volunteers who want to work with Slough YOT to help children and young people reach their potential. This role will give you an opportunity to improve your knowledge, learn new skills and develop positive partnership working with the community.
Examples of some of the work you might get involved in includes:
- Sitting on Panels for young people who are on court Referral Orders.
- Appropriate Adult (AA) – supporting young people at the police station or in court.
- Engagement in positive activities and programmes.
- Mentoring (young people).
- Supervising (reparation projects).
There are many benefits to being a volunteer and these include:
- Developing your skills, knowledge and experience.
- Meeting new people from different cultures and backgrounds.
- Making new friends.
- Getting to know your local community and give back to it.
Above all else, this is an opportunity to support children and young people in your community and give them a chance for a better future. Volunteers work with a wide range of professionals, young people, parents/carers, and those in the criminal justice system to prevent offending.
Are you looking to volunteer?
- Do you have an interest in working with young people who have offended (this can be challenging at times)?
- Would you like to help victims and repair the harm caused by crime?
- Would you like to help prevent re-offending?
If so, contact us by email at YOTeam@scstrust.co.uk
Below you will find some useful external links relating to youth offending and the support and advice available.
Youth offending teams (GOV.UK)
Young people and the law (GOV.UK)
Community sentences (GOV.UK)
Crime, justice and the law (GOV.UK)
Safer Slough Partnership (Slough Borough Council)
SEND information, advice and support (Information, Advice and Support Services Network)
SAFE! Support for young people affected by crime
SAFE! Is a charity in Thames Valley (Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire) that offers 1-2-1 support to young people, (age 8-18 or up to 25 years if they have additional needs) who have been affected by crime. You can choose where you feel most comfortable meeting your SAFE! worker; it could be at home, or somewhere like your school, college, youth or community centre. Your SAFE! worker will help you develop ways of coping for times when you don’t feel safe. You will not have to talk about what happened to you, unless you want to.
This service is free of charge and referrals can come from YOT, Schools, Police, Victim Support or via a self referrals. Young people attending YOTs are not referred, but victims of their offence or siblings can be referred. Victims are offered up to 6 or 12 sessions concentrating on protective behaviours.
Freephone: 0800 133 7938
Victim Support Circle
Having a support network in place is important for every person, regardless of current or past experiences. However, we recognise that support from family and friends is not always what is needed, particularly when having experienced an offence as a victim. In fact, sometimes support from someone with similar experiences can be the most beneficial.
Here at Slough Youth Offending Team we want to make sure that the victims of crime are treated with dignity, kindness and respect. We aim to ensure that the victims of crime have as much support offered to them as is possible. One of the ways we offer this is through our Victim Support Circle:
- Runs on the first Wednesday of every month
- Voluntary group – attendance of one session does not necessitate attendance of every session
- Runs in conjunction with Windsor and Maidenhead Youth Offending Team
- Seeks to bring together people who have been victims of crime
- Seeks to offer people a safe place to talk through their experiences
- Seeks to allow people to gain support from those who have been through similar experiences
- Seeks to share relevant services such as other victim support agencies, counselling services, etc.
If you are interested in attending or would like more information about the Victim Support Circle, please contact Leah Robinson on 01753 690963 or at Leah.Robinson@scstrust.co.uk.
Victim Support Services
Victim Support Line: 0808 1689 111 (24/7 including holidays)
Victim Support Next Generation Text (for those who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speak English as a second language): 18001 0808 1689 111
MIND: call 0300 123 3393 or text 86463
Assist Trauma Care: advice line 01788 560 880
SAFE! – Support for Young People Affected by Crime: 01865 582 495
How Restorative Justice supports victims of crime
We at Slough YOT are keen to engage with the victims of crimes and believe this is a crucial element of helping repair the harm caused through offering extensive support and hopefully deter young people from future offences.
We want to offer an approachable service with which anyone who identifies as a victim can engage. This is focused around YOU and we therefore appreciate any feedback at any point. If it means we can better cater to victim’s needs, we want to hear it.
Restorative Justice: What you need to know
Restorative Justice is a voluntary process which focuses on the rehabilitation of young people who have offended, getting them to take responsibility for their actions, understand the harm they have caused and provide them with an opportunity to redeem themselves and reconcile with the victim(s).
Restorative Justice can be done through:
- Face-to-face conferences
- Shuttle mediation (indirect conversations)
- Reparation completed by the young person who has offended
Do I have to forgive them?
- No. Forgiveness is a personal choice and no victim(s) will ever be pressured to forgive the offender(s).
Is it safe?
- Yes. The Restorative Justice process will be handled by a trained facilitator.
- Confidentiality is taken very seriously and the facilitator would not allow the process without taking account of the participants’ safety.
What will I gain from this?
- Each person’s motivation is different but the trained RJ facilitator will discuss what each party wants to gain before starting the process, e.g.
- More information about the crime
- To explain to the offender how the crime affected them so they understand the consequences
- To gain some closure