Revised Youth Justice Board Guidance: Out of Court Disposals & Custody and Resettlement

YJB Case Management Guidance

National Standards for Children and Young People in Youth Justice (2019)

The Youth Justice Board (YJB) has published the final sections of its revised ‘case management’ guidance. Aimed at Youth Justice Professionals, the recent additions provide much needed clarity on out of court disposals, custody and resettlement and provide ‘how to’ guides to ensure effective delivery in these areas.


The guidance accompanies the National Standards for Children and Young People in Youth Justice (2019) and aims to guide understanding of what is expected at each stage of a child or young persons journey through the youth justice system.

Out of court disposals

Throughout the guidance, there is a clear focus on the diversion of children and young people from the criminal justice system and recognises that avoiding the unnecessary criminalisation of children and young people is of paramount importance. The YJB have bought together the key guidance on out of court disposals, including the revised Child Gravity Matrix and Community Resolution and Outcome 22 guidance, to provide practical guidance on the effective delivery of out of court disposals. It clearly sets out all of the options available when it comes to out of court disposals, how to conduct effective assessments, effective decision making and the steps that should be taken when a child or young person disengages. Importantly, it stresses the need to take into account factors specific to the child, as well as factors such as diversity and overrepresentation, and involving children and caregivers in decision making.

Custody and Resettlement

The guidance on custody and resettlement focuses on how to work with children and young people in custody and planning for their future. It now includes a focus on ‘constructive resettlement’ which requires an individualised and personalised approach to deliver practical support to children and young people in custody and after release. The guidance provides greater detail on the different regimes and establishments and the responsibilities of those involved when a child or young person is in custody. A key change is that the YJB strongly recommends that Intensive Supervision and Surveillance is not used as a licence condition.


The YJB’s ‘Case Management’ guidance is in an invaluable tool for those working with children and young people in contact with the criminal justice system.  It provides guidance on a number of areas ranging from how to build positive working relationships with children and young people, right through to the available sentences and resettlement. The YJB’s commitment to a ‘Child First’ approach is clear throughout. They have rightly recognised that every child and young person who comes into contact with the criminal justice system requires a tailored and personalised approach; one size does not fit all and decisions must be made on a case by case basis. The guidance is a positive step to ensuring that each and every child receives the support that they need at each stage of the criminal justice process in order to achieve the principle aim of the Youth Justice System, preventing offending by children.

Written By Sabrina Neves, Solicitor at GT Stewarts