We are always looking for volunteers who are open minded, non-judgemental, can empathise with and understand a young person’s perspective.
The Youth Justice Service (YJS) sits within the local authority, but works closely with statutory partners (police, health, probation), the third sector, and partners from the secure estate (secure children’s homes, secure training centres and young offender institutions). The service is overseen by the YJS Partnership Board, chaired by the service director of children’s services. A child first approach informs the service and partnership. This is underpinned by 4 key tenets:
see children as children (historically the criminal justice system does not)
develop pro-social identities for positive outcomes
true collaboration with children
promote diversion from the criminal justice system
Derbyshire YJS trains volunteers for the role of Restorative Justice Facilitator, to enable participation in Panel meetings, after a Referral Order has been imposed by the Court.
The Referral Order is a unique sentence, directly involving the local community, whereby volunteers are asked to get involved.
Referral Orders use restorative justice to encourage young people to take responsibility for their behaviour, and at the same time, give them the opportunity to make amends.
The Referral Order Panel is chaired by volunteers from the community, assisted by a member of the YJS. The young person agrees a contract with the Panel which can include reparation or restitution to their victim, as well as undertaking a programme of interventions and activities to address their offending behaviour.
The young person attends regular review meetings with volunteers and their YJS case managers to review and monitor their progress.
All Volunteers are given the opportunity to undergo regular relevant training. This includes on-going support and all expenses reimbursed.