About Youth Court Solutions
Youth Court Solutions (YCS) is an independent, at-youth court generic and specialist support service. It delivers to the whole county youth cohort in Wellingborough Magistrates Court, once every fortnight. Their service is available for any who attends the court: defendants, victims, witnesses, family and friends.
YCS is designed according to the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) model and underpinned by the understanding that any contact with the criminal justice system constitutes an ACE. YCS addresses these issues and aims to resolve them as early as possible, when a young person comes into the courthouse.
The interventions are provided by Service Six, an East Midlands regional charity, and Northamptonshire Youth Offending Service (YOS). Other partners include Crysalys Foundation, which coordinates the service and Centre for Justice Innovation. YCS enjoys the support of The Lieutenancy, The Shrievalty, the Magistracy and Senior Judiciary, the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, the Police and HMCTS.
YCS offers its services across seven categories: generic and needs-led information and support, brief solution-focussed therapy, cross-sector community referrals, education services, substance misuse advice, housing and debt advice and mental health support.
The main characteristics of the model are that it is independent and participation is voluntary, as well as the unique scope and immediacy of interventions that are provided.
A Service Six Youth Specialist is based in the Magistrates Court and provides beneficiaries with information about and signposting to available support and services, provided by Service Six and other organisations. The specialist is also trained to assist with any emergency and immediate needs. The service offers check-ins after two and four weeks and six months.
The Northamptonshire YOS provides information, advice and support in areas including housing, law, benefits, education (to facilitate a return to school) and substance misuse information. Health information is provided by Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service-employed staff.
The pilot ran from October 2021 to September 2022. During the course of the pilot (25 court days), the service reached 173 beneficiaries, of which 118 were young people and 55 were adults. The target was 70.
Of those seeking advice, 36 sought help with substance misuse, 54 with education, 6 with both substance misuse and housing and 12 with housing. 78 sought general support and advice. Overall, an average of 48% of the total number of attending youth defendants were reached by the service.
During this period, YCS reported 100% beneficiary satisfaction and 100% uptake of referral/follow-up appointments.
For more information, please contact Suzanne Smith firstname.lastname@example.org. For similar services, please refer to our case studies on CASSPLUS (based in Devon and Cornwall) and Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court - Community Advice.
Case study by Isabella Anderson, 2022.