Introduction

Youth offending teams work with young people that are at risk of or get into trouble with the law. They look into the background of a young person and try to help them stay away from crime. Usually, the police are the first people to contact the youth offending team. But family members and friends can also contact them if they’re worried about a young person’s behaviour.

The youth offending team gets involved if a young person:

  • gets into trouble with the police or is arrested
  • is charged with a crime and has to go to court
  • is convicted of a crime and given a sentence

They also:

You can find out more about the work of the Somerset Youth Offending Team here.

SEND information

SEND information – part of our Local Offer

Special educational needs (SEN) and Children and Young People in Youth Custody

The support, provision, assessment and review children and young people in youth custody with SEN are crucial because:

Changes brought in by the Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Code of Practice give children and young people with SEN in youth custody new rights. They also introduce new expectations on custodial establishments, Local Authorities, health partners and Youth Offending Teams. For children and young people without appropriate SEN provision, where this is necessary, it must be arranged through the graduated approach by the custodial setting.

This might include an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan and if necessary, a request for EHC needs assessment can be made.

Which Children and Young People in Youth Custody with SEN does this apply to?

The arrangements apply to:

  • Children and young people aged 18 and under
  • Children and young people who have been sentenced or remanded by the Courts to a Young Offender Institutions, A Secure Training Centre or a secure Children’s Home (in future these will become secure colleges)
  • Children voluntarily detained in a Secure Children’s Home

In Somerset, links have been made between the SEN team and Youth Offending Service and they are working together in cases where children and young people in custody have special educational needs. The Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice 2015 sets out in chapter 10 the detail of the new requirements.

What do the changes mean for Children and Young People in Youth Custody with SEN?

  • For children and young people without appropriate SEN provision, where this is necessary it must be arranged through the graduated approach by the custodial setting.

This might include an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan and if necessary, a request for EHC needs assessment can be made.

  • Local authorities (LA) must not cease an EHC plan when a child or young person enters custody. They must keep it while the child or young person is in their youth accommodation, and they must maintain and review it when the child or young person is released.
  • For children and young people who have statements or EHC plans, the LA must continue to arrange appropriate SEN provision.
  • Where a child or young person in youth accommodation does not have an EHC plan, the appropriate person or the person in charge of the relevant youth accommodation can request an assessment of the child or young person’s EHC needs from the local authority.

The same responsibility of maintaining and reviewing applies to any care and health provision written in the plan.

  • From April 2015 arrangements will be made for children and young people in custody who have a statement of SEN to transfer over to an EHC Plan either on release or in custody

Last reviewed:June 24, 2022 byJennifer

Next review due:December 24, 2022

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