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Working within a Youth Offending Team will see you aiming to prevent children and young people under the age of 18 from offending, or re-offending. It is a role that has its challenges but is also rewarding too, and with a clear onward path to develop your career in several ways.

Entry requirements

While there are no specific entry requirements, many Youth Offending Team (YOT) officers will have a degree in areas that cover youth work, youth justice, social work or criminology and will also have experience in areas of social and youth work, the police and probation. For those seeking a career with a YOT, previous experience – even voluntary – and an understanding of how the justice system operates, will have benefits.

Applicants will also need Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance.

Broader social skills

As with any job working with potentially challenging clients, enhanced social and communication skills will be important.

If you can stay calm when under pressure when working with vulnerable young people, show patience and empathy and be well-organised too, that is a bonus.

Roles within the job

Youth offending teams are part of the local council and separate from the police and the courts. So, having previously read about what it’s like as a probation officer, let’s take a look at the YOT role in more detail.

This is likely to involve preparing and writing reports for courts, designing action plans to support young offenders from re-offending, carrying out assessments to temper any future risk of reoffending, visit young people in secure institutions, and liaising with other agencies and bodies to help young people with drug and alcohol misuse or accommodation.

Places of work

While YOTs work closely with young people, they also run local crime prevention programmes, help young people and their families at the police station or at court, supervise young people serving a community sentence and support a young person if they are sentenced to custody.

While you will be based in an office, your work will take you into courts and detention centres, youth clubs, clients’ homes and police stations and you will also come into contact with probation officers, health authorities, housing and children’s services, charities, and also schools and education authorities to help clients into work, training or education.

Salary structure and career progression

For a basic 37-hour week, the starting salary is £20,000 but that can rise to £28-32,000 for more experienced practitioners and up to £38,000 for the highly experienced. The career path can lead on to becoming a team leader or team manager and branching out into other areas such as social work.

If you’re interested in working in a YOT, why not take a look at the latest youth offending team jobs available at Sanctuary? Make sure you come back next week as we look at how you can survive day one in a youth offending job.
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