Northamptonshire Youth Offending Service

All children and young people have a right to grow up in a safe environment, to develop into well rounded adults who play their part in their community.

Not all children have those rights respected, however, and children who have committed offences are sometimes also the victims of crime, often committed against them in the context of their family, school or social environment.

Some children that NYOS works with are witnessing or experiencing Domestic Violence; some are suffering Physical Abuse, Emotional Abuse or Neglect; some children are experiencing Sexual Abuse, including Child Sexual Exploitation, gang intimidation, Criminal exploitation.  These children need protecting.

Children who don’t go to school, who use alcohol and drugs, who have mental or emotional health concerns or do not have anywhere stable to live may not be being actively abused at the moment, but their life chances may be seriously affected by their experiences, and these children need safeguarding too.

As part of the ASSET + assessment, we assess the extent to which children and young people are vulnerable to abuse or other harmful situations and circumstances.  Vulnerability can be caused by the acts of the child or young person themselves or by the acts or omissions of others.  When we assess that this is a problem, NYOS has a system of assessment, planning and review that tries to make sure that the right things are done, by the right people at the right time.  These plans involve increasingly senior people in NYOS as the level of concern rises.  NYOS will make referrals to relevant agencies for action, including Children’s Social Care in the most serious cases, so that Child Protection Investigations can be started.

As well as the work done with individual children and young people, NYOS is involved with the Local Children’s’ Safeguarding Partnership  at the highest level.  The NYOS Head of Service, Claire O'Keefe, sits on the Safeguarding Board itself, and senior members of NYOS are involved in the CSE & Children Missing Committee, the Learning & Development Committee and respresented on all NSCP sub groups.