All children and young people in the youth justice system are vulnerable by virtue of their age and developmental immaturity. High numbers of children and young people who come to the attention of youth justice services also have complex learning needs, low levels of educational attainment, speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) and more untreated health issues than their peers. Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are often undiagnosed as opportunities to assess are sometimes missed, with many in this vulnerable group not receiving the support they need to achieve positive change.

Our Youth Justice SEND project supports youth offending teams, the youth secure estate and local authorities in effectively identifying and meeting young offenders’ special educational needs and disabilities, working towards more effective engagement and more positive long term outcomes.

Since April 2016 we have:

  • Run workshops around the country, training over 400 professionals who work with young people within the youth justice system, spanning 80 Local Authorities

  • Developed and launched a free online learning resource, The Youth Justice SEND Bubble

  • Worked with over 50 area partnerships spanning 56 Local Authorities to benchmark practice against quality standards, and reward progress with Quality Mark and Quality Lead certificates

We are now delighted to announce that our partnership with AYM (Association of Youth Offending Team Managers) will continue into 2018 and beyond, offering support guidance and reward for Youth Offending Teams and their associate local service providers, to secure better outcomes for children and young people in the youth justice system who have special education needs.

The Youth Justice SEND Programme 2016-18 was funded by the Department for Education and built collaboratively upon the pioneering work of both the Council for Disabled Children and Sheffield Futures as part of their DfE funded work in 2015-16 to support children and young people with SEND in custody.

Youth Justice SEND Resources

Get more involved with the Youth Justice SEND project by viewing our online resources:

The Youth Justice SEND Bubble – our free online resource portal

The Youth Justice SEND Project Resource Hub

To learn more about the Quality Lead and Quality Mark Awards click here.

Youth Justice news

Achievement for All celebrates the work of 50 Youth Offending Teams and their outstanding work in helping children and young people


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