Youth Offender Panel Member

Youth Offending and Prevention Service (North Somerset Council)

Name: Youth Offender Panel Member
Organisation: Youth Offending and Prevention Service (North Somerset Council)
Location: Central Chambers, 24 - 26 Walliscote Road, Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset, BS23 1UP
Type: Part Time
Regular volunteering commitment. Panel members are required to attend initial, review and final panels for young people throughout the period of their referral order (3- 12 months). Dates are agreed in advance. Volunteers might commit to several different panels with different young people.


Are you passionate about helping young people turn their lives around?
The YOS is recruiting volunteers to sit on Youth Offender Panels (Referral Panels). We're keen to recruit people from a diverse ethnic, cultural and social background, who are committed to helping young people and victims. Could this be you?

What are Youth Offender Panels?
Panel members have a key part to play in helping reduce the likelihood of a young person committing further offences and in ensuring that the needs of the victim are fully taken into account. If sentenced to a Referral Order, an offender will be referred to a youth offender panel, which involves volunteer members of the community- this could be you! Panels ensure young offenders take responsibility for their behaviour, by giving victims a chance to say how committing the offence has affected them.

What will I be doing?
You and another volunteer panel member will lead a meeting with a member of the YOS, the young person and their parent/carer. The aim of this meeting is to agree a plan of action in the form of a 'contract' to repair the harm done to the victim and to prevent any future offending. You will then review the young person’s progress in subsequent meetings.

You do not need any qualifications in order to volunteer, just an ability to engage with and the motivation to help young people and victims. You will be fully trained and will need to be available for a few hours a month to take part. Most panels are held on Tuesday and Thursday weekdays and early evening before 6.30pm. You can specify what days and hours work for you.

At present, panels are being run virtually over Zoom or conference call due to COVID, however once restrictions are eased, we will return to physical panels. Panel meetings usually take place at various venues in the community across North Somerset, including the YOS building (Central Chambers) next to the Town Hall. You should be willing to travel, and travel expenses can be claimed for.

You will be interviewed for this position in early November and virtual training will take place on Zoom in November and December either at the weekend or in the evening.

Data Barring Service checks will be carried out and spent convictions and cautions must be declared at application. You will be required to provide two written references as part of your application.

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Organisation Description

North Somerset Youth Offending Team provide the following services:
1. Work with young people and families to prevent offending behaviour in the first instance and re-offending.

2. Facilitating change in young people by identifying and addressing needs and behaviour through individualised holistic programmes to develop law abiding lifestyles and to fulfil their potential.

3. Provide services to the victims of young offenders known to the Youth Offending Team.

4. Managing Youth Offender Panels.

5. Provide programmes to parents of young people who are at risk of or have offended/been excluded from education.

6. Provide information to the Court and partner agencies in accordance with information and sharing protocols.


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Cause / Interests

  • Children
  • Families
  • Mental Health
  • Mentoring
  • Prisoners and Ex-Offenders
  • Youth

Types of Activity

  • Caring
  • Community Work
  • Counselling
  • Legal Work
  • Under 16 Volunteering
  • Youth Work

Skills and Qualifications


• There are no professional qualifications required for this role, and panel members will be recruited on the strength of their personal qualities. No previous experience of the youth justice system is required.
• Personal qualities include: motivation, good character, communication skills, sound temperament, commitment and reliability.
• Volunteers are encouraged to serve on youth offender panels for terms of up to three years to develop and put into practice good skills. You should be able to commit to at least one year of service as a volunteer.


Serving as a panel member provides experience for the following:
• Working with young people and youth work
• Working with youth offenders and the criminal justice system
• Restorative justice and victim led work
• Listening and empathy skills
• An ability to think logically, to weigh arguments and reach logical conclusions.
• Provide advice and guidance
• Mentoring and coaching skills
• Trauma informed working

The role provides excellent CV experience for anyone interested in a role or qualification in law, psychology, social work, youth work, counselling or mediation.

Additional/Specific Suitabilities

Minimum Age: 18
Maximum Age: NA
Disabled Access: Yes
Wheelchair Access: Yes
Expenses: Travel Expenses Reimbursed
Restrictions: NA
Induction: Induction period of 3 months, following completion of induction training.
Insurance Cover: NA
Special Needs: The YOS is committed to be an equal opportunities employer and care will be taken to ensure that opportunities for participation in youth offender panels are open to all, regardless of age, ethnic or racial origin, gender, sexual orientation, social backg
Offer: Ongoing quarterly group supervision and training sessions. Yearly appraisal one-to-one and performance review. Training and practice competencies must be maintained to remain in role.
Training: Full induction training will be provided virtually in the evening/ weekend.
Other: Restrictions: Sexual offences, offences against children or a criminal conviction against children within the last two years will render a person unsuitable. Full data barring service checks will be carried out and anyone applying to be panel member must

Recruitment Method

Application form, References, Trial Period, DBS Check, Interview