At West Yorkshire Liaison and Diversion, Practitioners specialised in working with young people are positioned across all of our teams aiming to produce the best possible outcomes and better futures for young people who come into contact with the Criminal Justice System.
Young people can present with complex needs that can contribute to their offending behaviour, for example; breakdown of family relationships, emotional health needs, learning difficulties, substance misuse, problems in school and peer influences.
When a young person commits an offence or is referred to us through the police, Safer Schools Officers or other agencies, a project worker will complete a holistic assessment in a safe environment utilising a signs of safety approach, a support plan will be agreed, and referrals to appropriate services will be made.
Additional funding provided by the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit enables the Liaison and Diversion Service to deliver a Custody Diversion Project, focusing on criminal exploitation and knife crime. The project approach uses professional workers with lived experience of the criminal justice system to equip young people with the skills to think critically, assess risk and make better life choices, making them more resilient to the risks of becoming involved in gangs, exploitation and violence.
We are also working in partnership with Invictus Wellbeing to deliver therapeutic interventions, supporting young people and children who have been through the criminal justice system (CJS), or are at risk of being involved with the CJS. This specialist mental health and wellbeing pathway has been very successful in our Calderdale and Kirklees teams.