Our Youth Justice Team in YOS have two opportunities for Volunteering. The first is to become a Community Panel Member who sits on Referral Order Panels. We also have Volunteers who are allocated to young people to be part of their Support Network..
The Community Panel is made up of volunteers from the local community who are specially trained to sit on Referral Order Panels and they will meet with the young person to agree a Referral Order contract (what the Young Person is going to do as part of the order) and then meet regularly to see how things are going, add and amend the Contract and finally will sign the Order off as being "successfully completed" or return the Order to Court if it has not been.
We also have Mentors who are volunteers who meet regularly with young people to provide a trusted adult to talk to who is not their Case Manager and who will take them to positive activities, appointments or support them to attend education. The frequency varies but could range from a few meet-ups a week to fortnightly to monthly so Mentors need to be very flexible and able to tailor their availability to the needs of the young person.
Training is provided free to people who commit to a minimum of 6 months of delivery in one (or both) of the Volunteer roles.
We are currently taking applications for our next Training delivery.
What we look for in a volunteer
Can you engage and support young people from all walks of life who may have complex and challenging backgrounds? A good Volunteer will be able to look past current behaviours to understand the Lived Experiences of the young person, be empathic to their needs and firm but fair in their expectations. They will recognise that the child is not "a problem to be fixed" but rather a product of their environment and experiences. Finally, it is essential that Volunteers see the Child First and Offences Second.
Can you be flexible? Panels take place during the week at a mutually agreeable time for the young person, their parents/carers and the victim of their offence, so this can be evenings or daytime (the panel members are allocated to the young person based on their availability). Currently, no weekend panels take place but this may be something that is considered in the future. Mentoring can take place at any time (by agreement with managers) that meets the needs of the young person.
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