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4.1 Youth Offending Service Guidance for Practitioners


Lincolnshire Youth Offending Service (YOS) is located within the Children’s Services Directorate of Lincolnshire County Council (LCC). The YOS Management Board is chaired by the Director of Finance & Public Protection; the membership has representatives from Lincolnshire Probation Trust, the NHS, the Police, HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS), Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and LCC.

The YOS works in partnership with criminal justice services and with services for children and young people to create safer communities and improve the well-being of young people across Lincolnshire.

This chapter provides guidance for staff within Lincolnshire YOS.


This chapter was updated in October 2018 to include additional links to Practice Guidance for Practitioners. Please see the table in Section 4, Legislation and Practice Guidance for the new additions.


  1. Introduction
  2. Our Vision
  3. Our Goals
  4. Legislation and Practice Guidance

1. Introduction

Lincolnshire YOS governance is provided by the Management Board, which is chaired by the Executive Director Finance and Public Protection. Membership consists of representatives from the National Probation Service, Community Rehabilitation Company, Clinical Commissioning Group, Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust, Lincolnshire Children's Services, Lincolnshire Police, HMCTS, Police and Crime Commissioner and elected members from Lincolnshire County Council. It is this Board that has the statutory responsibility for setting the strategic direction of Youth Offending within the County.

The Lincolnshire Youth Offending Service was set up under Section 38 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 which places (on the local authority) a statutory duty to provide youth justice services in its area. Section 39 of the Act requires areas to establish Youth Offending Teams, and Section 40 requires that each year, a Youth Justice Plan is formulated and implemented. This plan can be found here.

In Lincolnshire we have an overarching goal to ensure that young people within the youth justice system are first and foremost fully supported to change their behaviour, realise their potential and make a positive contribution to their communities. We are also committed to underpin future practice with core principles, including a restorative and family-centred approach, develop the use of relationship-based practice and utilise a strengths-based approach to promote desistance from criminal behaviour.

Lincolnshire YOS's Safeguarding Lead is the Service Manager.

2. Our Vision

  • Children, young people & families in Lincolnshire will be:
    • Helped to make changes for themselves;
    • Seen as a positive solution to the challenges they face;
    • Able to get the right service at the right time;
    • Understood as a whole family.
  • To be truly effective we must always endeavour to make a meaningful and positive difference in the lives of children and young people we work with and support and actively challenge ourselves when we do not achieve this;
  • We will seek to be consistently recognised as a service which raises aspirations and strives for the very best outcomes for children and young people in Lincolnshire;
  • To ensure children and young people in Lincolnshire maximise every opportunity to fulfil their potential talent;
  • We must listen and engage with children and young people, hear their perspectives and put them at the heart of solving problems and overcoming barriers.

3. Our Goals

Lincolnshire Youth Offending Service goals are to:

  • Prevent offending;
  • Reduce re-offending;
  • Ensure the needs and voices of victims are fully integrated within our practice;
  • Work to ensure custody is limited only to those young people whose risk cannot be in the community;
  • Protect the public from the harm that young people can cause to individuals, communities and the public;
  • Ensure effective safeguarding for those young people we work with; and
  • Adhere to clearly set out Restorative Justice principles in dealing with young people and victims.

We will do this by ensuring that:

  • Young people are assessed to the very highest standards and are offered interventions taking into account individual learning styles that will reduce those identified risks;
  • Young people are properly managed throughout their sentence and through their transition to adulthood;
  • Sentences are robustly enforced to ensure the credibility of Court Orders and the confidence of the public;
  • Attention is given to the needs of victims and restorative outcomes are offered wherever possible.

4. Legislation and Practice Guidance

Practitioners working within the YOS should follow the relevant guidance as below:

Guidance Purpose
Lincolnshire Children's Services Manual Operational version of Lincolnshire Children's Services procedures. Includes safeguarding policies.
Lincolnshire Safeguarding Children Board Procedures Manual Operational version of the Lincolnshire Safeguarding Children Board procedures. Includes safeguarding policies.
Case Management Guidance

Guidance for youth offending teams and managers on how to work with children and young people in the youth justice system.

It contains:

  • Information on what you need to do;
  • Implications of legislation;
  • Practical advice.
National Standards for Youth Justice

Practical guidance and minimum standards for:

  • Preventing offending;
  • Out-of-court disposals;
  • Assessing young people;
  • Working in court;
  • Working with victims of crime;
  • Interventions in custody and the community.
Sentencing Children and Young People: Definitive Guidelines Definitive sentencing guideline for use in courts in England and Wales on sentencing children and young people.
Bladed Articles and Offensive Weapons: Definitive Guidelines Definitive sentencing guidelines for offences involving Bladed Articles and Offensive Weapons for use in courts in England and Wales on sentencing children and young people.
Referral Order Guidance Guidance on how to deal with young people on referral orders.
National Protocol for Case Responsibility Provides a set of principles to assist YOTs when they work with children and young people from outside their geographical area.
AssetPlus Guidance: Assessment and Planning Interventions Framework Assessment user guide for practitioners – practitioners can locate this on IMP.
Community Serious Incident Reporting This guidance replaces Community Safety and Public Protection incidents. Notification of agreed offences aims to promote learning within Lincolnshire YOS and across partners; highlight cases likely to attract a high level of media attention; and enable a pro-active approach by senior management to overseeing interagency risk management – this is located on IMP.
Code of Practice for Victims of Crime Sets out the services that must be provided to victims of crime by organisations in England and Wales.
MAPPA Guidance Guidance on assessing and managing the risks posed by sexual and violent offenders.
ASB Practitioner's Guidance Guidance for youth offending team (YOT) practitioners on the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act.
Speech, Language and Communication Needs in the Youth Justice System Advice for practitioners and managers in youth offending teams (YOT) and secure accommodation for young people. It aims to help you work with young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).
Joint Lincolnshire Protocol Police and Criminal Evidence Act (Section 38) and provision of Local Authority Accommodation Guidance on safeguarding children and young people through avoiding, so far as is practicable, their detention overnight in police custody following charge and the denial of bail – practitioners can locate this on IMP.
Joint Protocol for Transitions in England Protocol to support the planned and safe movement of young people from youth offending teams (YOTs) to probation services when they turn 18.
Joint Protocol between YOTS and Electronic Monitoring Services This joint protocol lays out the responsibilities of youth offending teams (YOTs) and electronic monitoring services (EMS) in relation to the electronic monitoring of young people.
Concordat on children in custody Guidance on safeguarding and meeting the needs of children and young people in Police custody.