Frequently Asked Questions

For a breakdown of abbreviations and terms used by the Youth Justice Service, you can view our Jargon Buster by clicking here

What are the ages of the young people YJS is working with?

In most cases the YJS work with young people between the ages of 10-17. Where orders have been given and a young person will turn 18 during it, the YJS still work with them. In addition, the Prevention Service is working with young people of all ages to prevent them entering the youth justice system.

What does it mean for a parent/carer if your child becomes under YJS supervision?

The Youth Justice Service supports parents and carers and will not judge or blame you but treat you with respect. They will acknowledge your rights and empower you in taking responsibility for your children.

If your child becomes involved with the YJS there may be the opportunity to voluntarily attend a parenting programme, if you think it would be useful. If the court believes that you need to attend a parenting programme they will give you a Parenting Order. This would make attending the programme compulsory as a legal requirement. Parenting programmes are aimed at dealing with a child’s challenging behaviour and provides advice and guidance on the best way to tackle this.

Can anyone refer a young person to the YJS?

Anyone can refer a young person to the Prevention Team. Referrals to the YJS can’t be made by members of the public. Referrals to the YJS are made by North Yorkshire Police or the Youth Courts.

How and why does the YJS assess young people?

The YJS uses several assessments to identify the needs of young people, the risk they present to themselves and others, and the likelihood of them offending or reoffending. Assessing the young people under our supervision helps us tailor a specific programme for each individual to target why they offended and to help stop them reoffending in the future.  

What service can the victims of crime expect from the YJS?

Victims of crime will be treated with dignity and respect throughout all their involvement with the YJS. In the majority of cases you will be contacted by your local Victim Liaison Officer, who will provide information about the outcome of the case. You will then be offered the opportunity to participate in the Restorative Justice process.

What is Restorative Justice?

Restorative Justice allows the offender to make amends to their victim and/or the community. We put support in place so victims can meet with their offender to explain the real impact of the crime. Victims of crime who decide to take part will have their needs and wishes taken into account and will be fully supported in any choices they make. Participation in the process is completely voluntary. There are several methods of Restorative Justice;

  • Victim–offender mediation - The victim and offender, helped by an independent person, communicate with one another. This may be by direct meeting or, if preferred by either the victim or the offender, indirectly with the third person acting as ‘go between’ in a ‘shuttle mediation’. Questions may be asked, information exchanged and an agreement reached.
  • Restorative conferencing - Supporters, as well as victim and offender, meet together in a conference run by a trained person. At the end, agreements are made that set out what the offender will do to deal with the harm done.
  • Family group conferencing - The young person who has offended meets with members of his/her extended family, and possibly representatives of agencies, e.g. social services and schools. They work together to identify what has happened, and how the family will support the young person to put it right.
  • Referral Order Youth Offender Panels - Young offenders and their parents meet with trained community volunteer panel members to discuss the offence and its consequences, and to agree a contract to repair the harm and address the causes of offending behaviour. Victims are invited to attend or have their views put before the panel as they prefer.

What is Reparation?

Reparation enables young people to make up for what they have done by giving them the opportunity to give something back either directly to their victim or indirectly to the local community. It can also give young people the chance to do something positive, hopefully giving them new skills and confidence.

Direct Reparation:  This could be in the form of an apology either written or verbal, or supervised activities that directly have a positive impact to the victim.

Indirect Reparation:  This includes activities that benefit the wider community, such as making improvements to an area for the local community to use.

Can I volunteer with the YJS?

Yes, we have a skilled dedicated team of volunteers who are essential to the work of the YJS. We have a number of vital roles and you will be supported fully by the YJS.

If you feel you can have a positive impact on young people and have the time and enthusiasm to make a difference, please contact for further information or an application pack:

Harrogate, Craven, Richmondshire and Hambleton areas:
Helen Chapman, Practice Manager based in Harrogate on 01609 798589 or by e-mail to

Scarborough and Whitby, Ryedale and Selby areas:
Ed Horwood, Volunteer Co-ordinator based in Scarborough, on 01609 536293 or by e-mail to

What do we do with the information we receive?

All information we receive adheres to strict confidentiality policies.  This complies with best practice advice from the Youth Justice Board and is in line with the Data Protection Act. All staff are trained in information management and confidentiality.


The North Yorkshire Youth Justice service employs approximately 100 staff in a wide range of professional and ancillary roles. We are an equal opportunity employer, committed to developing the quality and diversity of our staff team.

Click here to see our current vacancies.

Head Office | Room SB004 | County Hall | Racecourse Lane | Northallerton | DL7 8AD | Telephone 01609 536168
West YJS
| Delta House | 12b, North Park Road | Harrogate | HG1 5PG | Telephone 01609 535030
East YJS
| 2nd Floor, Pavilion House | Westborough | Scarborough | YO11 2JN | Telephone 01609 534751
Selby YJS
| Community House | Portholme Road | Selby | YO8 4QQ | Telephone 01609 534751

Introduction | News | Volunteers | Vacancies | Feedback | Contact