coast

Youth Justice Service Health Team

Evidence shows that children in the youth justice system are likely to have unidentified or unmet health needs and to have some level of additional speech, language and communication needs. Often these needs have not been identified before the child enters the justice system. 

Each young person who comes to the YJS is assessed by their allocated worker. This is to understand the reasons for their offending. If the assessment indicates that health issues, such as mental health or substance misuse, have contributed to the young person's offending, then the YJS officer may refer the young person to our health team.  

The YJS health team consists of four three nurses, 1.4 Speech and Language Therapists and a part-time Psychologist. 

The YJS health team provides consultation and advice to other YJS members working with the child. They also do some direct work with children who are in contact with the YJS. 

At the start of their contact with a young person they the YJS nurses carry out a general health assessment to cover alcohol use, drug use, mental and emotional health, physical health and sexual health. The next step is for the nurse and young person to agree a care plan for the work they will do together. Sometimes the health treatment is provided by other community health services. The YJS nurses help the child to access these services. 

Speech, language and communication needs

The YJS Speech and Language Therapists complete a speech and language assessment with all the children who receive a court order or a second Out of Court Disposal. This assessment shows if the child has communication needs and tells us how best to communicate with the child. We also share this information with the child’s family and with other professionals, like teachers, who are working with the child. 

Our Speech and Language Therapists also provide training, consultation and support to colleagues in the YJS and to other professionals. 

Trauma-informed practice 

Many children in the youth justice system have experienced traumatic events earlier in their lives. These experiences can affect the child’s emotional and cognitive development, affecting their behaviour and their relationships. All practitioners in the YJS are trained in trauma-informed practice. This means that we try to understand the child’s past experiences, work out how these experiences have affected them and work with the child accordingly. 

Contact details  

Bournemouth, Christchurch, and Poole 

Dorset Combined Youth Justice Service,
Ted Webster Centre,
519A  Ashley Rd,
Poole,
BH14 0BD. 

Call: 01202 794 321.

Dorset Council 

Dorset Combined Youth Justice Service,
Monkton Park,
Winterborne,
Monkton,
Dorchester, 
Dorset,
DT2 9PS. 

Call: 0300 123 3339.

Email: DCYJS@bcpcouncil.gov.uk.