Medway Youth Offending Team highly commended at national awards

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Medway’s Youth Offending Team has been highly commended for supporting young offenders with speech, language and communication needs.

The multi-agency group works with local youngsters who have demonstrated or are at risk of developing anti-social behaviour.

The team’s speech, language and communications programme has earned them national recognition in the Youth Justice category at the Children and Young People Now Awards.

A new guide and assessment programme now aids the Youth Offending Team in identifying whether a young person has special communication needs.

Introduced by Medway Community Healthcare (MCH), the guide and assessment means speech and language problems can be addressed quickly and the justice system informed of youngsters’ specific needs and requirements.

This may include the type of language used to explain what is going on and also to explain that when asking questions, the young person may not maintain eye contact or may not understand the consequences of their behaviour.

Louisa Waters, Children’s Locality Manager for MCH, said: “Around 60 per cent of young offenders have speech, language and communication difficulties and they often go undiagnosed. We have been working with the Youth Offending Team to assess the young people and we are able to support them in the justice process.”

Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services Cllr Mike O’Brien said: “I would like to congratulate the Youth Offending Team for being highly commended and recognised for their great work with our local young people and their families. The speech, language and communication programme is another positive tool that can further improve outcomes for young offenders.”

For more information about Medway’s Youth Offending Team visit http://www.medway.gov.uk or for further details about the Children and Young People Now Award go to http://www.cypnawards.com
Notes to Editor:

The Youth Offending Service is made up of representatives from Medway Council’s Children’s Care Services, Kent Police, Kent Probation Service, Medway Community Healthcare (MCH), and Kent and Medway Youth and Employment Service.

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