Support for children who have come to the attention of the police

The role of the Youth Justice Team is to protect the public and to stop children offending and re-offending. We will try to understand what is going on for you and help you achieve your goals. If you are aged 10 to 17 and have come to the attention of the police, we may be asked by the police or courts to work with you.

We work with children who:

  • are going through the court system
  • are sentenced to a court order or receive an out of court disposal - these are given by a court or the police depending on the offence and are what you must do. Sometimes this can also be voluntary support.

We are not the police, but we do work with them.

When we meet you, we will go through everything, but there is some information on this website to help you understand what we do and how we can support you.

Each step of the way we will listen to you and your family or carers to make sure we are all working together. We will make a plan that will work for you and keep you and others safe.

Some of the support may be the same as for families who have an early help referral. To help prevent offending we will work with children and their families to:

  • identify and build on existing strengths and protective factors
  • improve family relationships
  • help the child develop a positive identity and future aspirations.

We will also work with other agencies to get you the right support. These can include:

  • charities and local communities
  • drug and alcohol services
  • health
  • housing
  • mental health services
  • the police
  • the Probation Service
  • schools and education providers
  • social work and early help teams.

There is guidance for children and young people leaving custody if you have special education needs or disabilities.

We also:

  • support victims of crime
  • support children on court bail
  • attend youth court to support children and their families to understand the process, and to help magistrates make decisions which keep children and the public safe
  • help children and their families through all stages of the youth justice system.

Contact us

Your Youth Justice Practitioner will give you a phone number so you can contact them. You can also contact the team working in your area:

North (Dartford, Gravesham and Swale)03000
South (Folkestone and Hythe, Dover and Ashford)03000
East (Canterbury and Thanet)03000
West (Maidstone, Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge and Malling and Sevenoaks)03000