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Youth Justice and Early Support Service

The Youth Justice and Early Support Service (YJESS) works with children and young people aged between 8 and 17 years who are taking part in, or at risk of becoming involved in anti-social or offending behaviour and the victims of their crime/behaviour.


Our vision is to support young people to build on their strengths and fulfil their potential by setting out our ambitions to:

  • Work together to improve the lives of young people, their families, victims, and the community through a restorative approach

  • Work with young people to build on their strengths, enhance their opportunities, and encourage better decisions through a person centred approach

  • Value the importance of young people and remain driven by fairness, inclusion, and equality


For a more in depth view of the YJESS, please check out our Youth Justice Plan 2023-2024.


  • Prevention Service

    The aim of the Prevention Service is to work together with children and young people, families, victims and the community through a restorative approach.  Our aim is to build on their strengths, enhance their opportunities and encourage better decisions; in doing so keeping them safe from harm and exploitation and diverting them away from offending or anti-social behaviours.


    Further information about the service can be found within the Prevention Service Leaflet


    Referrals can be made by anyone who may have concerns about a child or young person's behaviour, as long as the young person and family have consented to the referral being submitted. Please find the referral form here.

  • Victim Support Service

    The role of the Victim Officer is to provide support to a harmed person, who has been affected by youth crime or ASB when the young person responsible has been referred by the Police or the Courts to the Youth Justice and Early Support Service. The Victim Officer discusses this in more depth, providing the harmed person an opportunity to be involved in a restorative process.


    As the harmed person, the victim has the right to be updated and informed about any decisions made and have their thoughts and feelings regarding the offence heard and is an opportunity to have their say. In addition, the victim has the right to express their thoughts and feelings regarding how the young person could make amends for their crime/Anti-Social Behaviour. It can provide closure to the victim and provides young people with the opportunity to see the impact their behaviour/choices has had on others. 


    Our aims are to:

    • All support with victims undertaken by the Youth Justice & Early Support Service is underpinned by the Ministry of Justice Code of Practice for Victims of Crime 2020

    • Increase the young person's understanding around the impact of the behaviour and how this has affected others

    • Provide young people with an opportunity to have positive impact on their community

    • Support those harmed by crime and antisocial behaviour to have their voices heard

    • Facilitate the Restorative Process to enable all of the above 

  • Supervision of Court Orders in the Community

    Youth Rehabilitation Orders (YRO) 

    Children under the age of 18 years can be sentenced to a YRO at Court, which may last for up to 3 years.  The YRO will contain one or more requirements, which will be decided by the Court following an assessment undertaken by the YJESS. The YJESS worker will coordinate the requirements of the YRO, helping the child to understand what they are required to do, undertaking interventions and support with the child, providing support for their parents and carers if required, and supporting them to complete their Order.   The work will include helping the child to think about their behaviour and the harm their offending has caused to a victim.  The YJESS worker will also help the child to better deal with difficulties in their lives, including support to access education, training or employment if required, which is identified as a very important factor which can help steer them away from offending behaviour.


    Referral Orders 

    Where a child is before a court charged with a criminal offence and pleads guilty, the Court can impose a Referral Order. The child is then required to attend a Referral Order panel with their parents/guardian. A minimum of two volunteers from the local community lead the Referral Order panel, with a member of the YJESS also in attendance. Under the Referral Order the child agrees a contract with the Panel, which includes a focus on building an understanding of the impact of the offence on the victim and wider community, and how to try to make up for this through reparation to the victim or the community or through supporting a restorative meeting between the child and victim if agreed.  The contract will also include a programme of interventions and support to reduce the chances of committing further offences and to increase their positive development.  Referral Orders may last up to 12 months. The conviction is ‘spent’ once the contract has been successfully completed.


    Intensive Supervision and Surveillance (ISS) 

    This is included as a requirement to a YRO if the court decide that this is required as an alternative to a custodial sentence in order that they are able to be supported in the community with he more intensive support which may be assessed as required.  Following assessment, the YJESS recommend to the court the level of support and what this support should involve, including an electronically monitored curfew for the first part of the YRO.


    Bail/Remand programmes of work 

    The YJESS has a duty to provide information, bail support and supervision packages for a child when asked by the Court. Whenever a court refuses bail to a child (aged 10-17), the court is required to remand the child to local authority accommodation unless certain conditions are met, in which case the court may instead remand the child to Youth Detention Accommodation. The YJESS supports children and families receiving any of these outcomes from court before sentence.



    There are two types of custodial sentences: a Detention and Training Order (DTO), which can be from four months up to two years in length, or a Section 91/92 Order, which can be from years and more and only available when sentenced for a very serious offence at Crown Court.  Children serve the first half of a DTO or Section 91/92 Order in a custodial setting for children, and the remaining months in the community “on licence” being supervised by the YJESS. The YJESS works closely with the Prison and Secure Estate to support the children who receive custodial sentences. The YJESS regularly visit the children and meet with secure estate staff, children and their families to plan programmes of work whilst they are in custody and to plan for the child’s release. It is important that all the good progress that is made whilst in custody is continued upon release, therefore we work with the children, their families and other agencies to get children back into education, training or employment, and support them to not committing further offences as part of resettlement plans. 

  • Service Feedback
    What are we getting right? What do we need to improve on? these are the types of things we would like to know from anyone who has had contact with the service. Your feedback will enable us to maintain a positive level of service delivery across the interventions and support plans that we deliver. 


    If you have feedback regarding your interactions with the service please let us know using the QR codes or links below:


    Child/Young Person views                                          Parent/Carer views                   

    Child.young person views                                        YJESS Parent.carer views


    Victim/harmed person feedback

    YJESS - Victim Feeback QR

  • Opportunities  

    Youth Justice Forum

    We hold a Youth Justice Forum with young people who receive support from YJESS around how the service operates. We have organised this to discuss participation of young people and families and our aim is that we facilitate a forum space that is entirely led and directed by children, young people and families. If you would like more information regarding the Youth Justice Forums, you can request this from




    If you're looking to join an ever-developing and supportive team in working with children and young people within the Vale of Glamorgan, please check out the vacancies below: