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Youth Offending Team - Volunteer Panel Members

Youth Offending Team - Volunteer Panel Members

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    London, England

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    over 3 years ago

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Youth Justice Board - Tower Hamlets Referral Order Panel Members

Training dates:

21st October, 28th October, 4th November, 11th November, 18th November, 25th November, 2nd December between 10am and 4.30pm. Lunch and refreshments will be provided and travel expenses reimbursed.

Informal Interview:

Prospective volunteers will need to be able to attend an informal interview in September 2017.

What is a Youth Offender Panel? (Referral Order Panellists)

The usual sentence for a young person appearing in Court for the first time and pleading guilty is to be made subject of a Referral Order of between 3 and 12 months. The young person then attends a Referral Order Panel which will include at least two community members who are volunteers from the local area. As the Panel Members are local people they will take the lead in challenging the young person to take responsibility for their actions and help them to change their behaviour.

Panels also give victims a chance to say how the crime has affected them and what can be done to put things right.

These panels are important to the Criminal Justice System as they involve working with young offenders, their parents and victims.

Panel Members will talk and listen to these key people and agree with the young person a plan of action, called a contract, designed to put right the harm already done and to prevent future offending.

Panel Aims

  • Involve victims wherever possible.
  • Help put things right for the victim.
  • Ensure young people who have offended take responsibility for their behaviour and make amends for their crimes.
  • Help young people make a positive contribution to their local community and positive choices for their futures.
  • Reduce crime and fear of crime in the community.

Who will be on the Panels?

Each Panel will consist of at least two community members who are volunteers from the local area. A professional from the local multi-agency Youth Offending Team will also sit on the Panel to advise community members and ensure that meetings are properly conducted, recorded and followed up.

Who will the Panel deal with?

Young people aged 10 to 17 who have appeared in Court, usually for the first time and pleaded guilty. This is an important opportunity to nip offending in the bud at an early stage.

Who else will be at the Panel meetings?

The young person's parents will be there, together with any other adults who may be able to offer support and guidance.

The victim will be invited to attend in person and to bring someone with them to provide moral support. Alternatively they can ask for their views to be represented by someone else at the Panel Meeting.

We are looking for you!

We need Referral Order Panel Members who can represent their local community. This includes men and women of any age (18 and over) and from every ethnic and social back ground, whether in paid work or training, or not, from all areas of Tower Hamlets either living, working or studying. We want people who are good at listening and are committed to help make a positive difference in their community.

Will I be trained?

We don't expect people to have all the skills necessary to be a Referral Order Panel Member from the start. We will provide full training which will help prepare you for a challenging but worthwhile task. The initial training will be over a number of sessions. Once you become a Panel Member, you will continue to be offered regular training sessions to support you in your work. You will also be able to consult members of the Youth Offending Team.

What if I have a criminal record?

Being a Referral Order Panel Member involves working with children and for that reason we are required to request a full criminal record check. Previous convictions, especially those which are minor in nature and old will not automatically prevent you from becoming a Referral Order Panel Member. This is something we can discuss further with you.

How much of my time will it take?

We would expect you to spend about five hours a month on being a Referral Order Panel Member. This includes preparing for and sitting on a Panel approximately once a week. You will need to be able to commit to 12-months of volunteering following on from your training.

Will I be paid?

No. Panel members are volunteers. However, travel and childcare expenses will be paid.

To apply for this role, please email Victoria Boukerma at for an application form.