Youth court advocacy

Working with other organisations

This section explains why working with other organisations in the criminal justice system can help you deliver a better service for young people and children.

The key point to remember is to engage early with other organisations as this will help you understand more about the young person or child you are working with.

Why working with other organisations is important

Local organisations can help you find out important information about the young person or child you are working with. They can often provide you with background information about their medical records, education history and family background.

Knowing more about a young person’s or child's particular needs can help you consider:

  • whether the Crown Prosecution Service should be asked to review their decision to prosecute or offer an out of court disposal (triage, youth caution or youth conditional caution)
  • whether court modifications are required
  • the context of the offence (which could help with mitigation)
  • their education and offending history
  • available disposals and support provisions
  • wider details on their young person’s background that can put their actions into context.

Working with other organisations can also help you:

  • increase your awareness of options to avoid unnecessary criminalisation
  • understand the range of support available for children and young defendants during and after criminal proceedings.

How you can engage with other organisations

A key organisation you can contact is your local Youth Offending Team. They can usually access existing assessments about a young person from social services or prevention teams that can indicate any difficulties that may come up in court, and which you might need to be aware of. You can contact your local Youth Offending Team directly or arrive early to court to speak to them.

Talking to your local youth court user group can help you to better understand protocols for that particular court and help you access other local organisations.