Dorset Combined Youth Offending Service
We are committed to ensuring effective joint working for all young people who are known to youth justice services.
The Children and Families Act 2014 included requirements for supporting children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) detained in youth custody. These requirements are explained more fully in the 2014 ‘SEND: Code of Practice 0-25 years’. They came into effect from April 2015.
Under the Code of Practice, Youth Offending Teams have an important role to play in ensuring the exchange of information between local authority SEND teams and custodial establishments. It is important young people with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan can receive the designated support while in custody. It is also important that young people in custody who may have unidentified SEND are able to receive an EHC Assessment. The Youth Offending Teams also has a role to play in facilitating continuity of education services before, during and after a period in custody.
Dorset Combined Youth Offending Service (DCYOS) and its partners in the local authorities of Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset are committed to ensuring that young people receive the right support for their SEND issues at an early stage. It should not be necessary for a young person to receive a custodial sentence for them to have their SEND issues met. Therefore DCYOS and its local authority partners are committed to working beyond the requirements of the Code of Practice to ensure effective joint working for all young people who are known to youth justice services.
In practice this means that the Youth Offending Service will:
- Check with the local authority SEN teams to see if new YOS cases are already known to those services
- Use the AssetPlus assessment tool to identify possible SEND issues
- Link with local authority SEN teams and education providers. This ensures that young people known to the YOS receive the necessary SEND assessments and interventions
- Exchange information with local authority SEN teams and with education providers, subject to necessary legal controls. This is so that the needs of young people can be identified and addressed
- Notify the local authority when a young person is remanded or sentenced to custody. Facilitate contact between the local authority and the custodial establishment
- Inform the local authority SEN team of any young person in custody who the YOS assess may have SEND issues
- Work closely with the local authority SEN team and the custodial establishment to facilitate EHC assessments, plans and interventions
- Support the young person in custody, and their parent/carer when appropriate. This helps to understand and access their entitlements to EHC assessments and provisions
- Notify the local authority when a young person is to be released from custody
- For young people who turn 18 in custody the YOS will ensure that relevant information relating to SEND issues and provision is shared with the National Probation Service or the Community Rehabilitation Company