The Prevention and Diversion Team (PaDs) is made up of practitioners working alongside seconded Police officers to make decisions, offer and deliver intervention and support for young people where an Out of Court disposal or preventative intervention has been deemed the most appropriate outcome.
The team engage with young people and provide tailored packages of support to reduce the likelihood of further offending. As the PaDs Team is based within the YOS they have access to a team of specialists and professionals that they can pull upon to meet the various needs that the young person may be presenting with, including education, substance misuse, accommodation, or a lack of positive activities.
The PaDs team also have a Health and Justice Practitioner to support with emotional and mental health concerns. Health and Justice are a CAMHS service that has been developed to support those young people open to PaDs who are presenting with low level emotional or wellbeing difficulties. They are offered assessments and low level interventions much quicker than they would be via other routes.
The PaDs workers also liaise closely with children’s Social Care and other statutory agencies to ensure the support around the young person is considered and addressed if required. A referral to PaDs for preventative and diversionary intervention provides a clear consequence to a crime and negative behaviours but also offers that young person the opportunity to access required support without criminalising them.
Research has shown that children and young people who commit offences often do not do so again once they have been caught and understood what they have done wrong. Research also shows that labelling children as ‘criminal’ tends to lead to more rather than fewer offences being committed
A referral to PaDs is completed by the Police officer who has dealt with the crime. From there, it is allocated to a seconded Police officer and a PaDs duty worker. A virtual panel takes place wherein a technical, social and health triage is undertaken prior to agreeing an outcome decision. In order to proceed with the referral the following key criteria has to be met.Read more