Volunteer with youth justice team

PUBLISHED: 20:01 30 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:39 25 May 2010

RESIDENTS are being asked to volunteer to help with youth justice work.

RESIDENTS are being asked to volunteer to help with youth justice work.

North Somerset Youth Offending Team (YOT) is looking for panel members.

Young people who plead guilty when they first appear in the youth court who receive a referral order are asked to attend the panel.

The youth attends with their guardian or parent and two volunteers and an advisor speak to them.

Volunteers who take part in the scheme are fully trained by the YOT and this enables them to run the meeting and discuss the offence with the youth, their parents and the victims to agree what has happened and how the offender can make amends or repair the harm.

At the heart of this process is the requirement that the young person accepts responsibility for their actions and agrees a plan or contract specifying what they must do to complete their court order.

The victim can choose to attend the panel meeting and say how they have been affected by what happened and receive an explanation or apology from the young person responsible. Managing this process requires inter-personal and group skills which is why the training is necessary.

The young person will also be required to carry out unpaid work either directly for the victim or indirectly in the community. Other elements in the contract, such as anger management, drug or alcohol abuse, are tailored to meet the individual needs of the young offender.

The panel meets to review the contract at three-month intervals to ensure that progress is being made and the young person is on track to complete their order. Most panels take place on weekdays between 3pm and 7pm when victims, young people and their parent/carer can attend.

Panels take place across the district in a number of community venues for which a mileage allowance is paid. A full CRB check is also required.

For an application form call Cathy Clark or George Ware on 01275 888360 or email member.enquiries@n-somerset.gov.uk

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