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Initial Contacts and Referrals to Targeted Youth Support (TYS)


Hyperlinks in this chapter were revised and updated in March 2014.

1. Initial Contacts

Initial contact with Targeted Youth Support Teams can be via:

  • Customer Service Centre (CSC): Only where it is clearly a case of family breakdown, or a homeless 16 or 17 year old where an assessment of need is required. All other requests received by the CSC will be forwarded to Targeted Advice Service (TAS) to allow for further enquiries;
  • Targeted Advice Service (TAS) where contacts they are dealing with suggest an appropriate TYS service, and where a referral (as per point above) has been received by the CSC and after further enquiries it is deemed appropriate for TYS;
  • Courts (Youth Justice) and Step Down from Safeguarding and Specialist Services;
  • Lead Professional for a Team around the Family (TAF) where Families First and Early Help Module early intervention has not resulted in adequate progress and needs have escalated (risk of family breakdown).

2. Referrals

An initial contact received by Targeted Youth Support Teams will be progressed to a Referral where the TYS manager considers an assessment and/or services may be required.

See Referrals to Targeted Youth Support should be made using Single Service Requests (SSR).

Electronic referrals and enquiries should be sent via

Faxes should be sent to 01438 737402

Letters should be sent to:

Customer Service Centre
PO Box 153

Enquiries and referrals from children, young people, families and members of the public can be made via 0300 123 4043.

3. Allocations

Where the referral meets the threshold for Targeted Youth Support, the TYS Manager will prioritise cases according to the information received. The TYS team will confirm acceptance of the referral and provide the name of the allocated worker. This will normally be within 48hours, but where a case is high priority an immediate allocation will be made.

High risk cases which require an immediate response should be seen on the day of referral to prevent an immediate family breakdown. All other new referrals aim to be responded to within five working days of the allocation, unless there is prior agreement with the TYS manager.

TYS Youth Justice Allocations will be managed as follows:

Court Allocations - Youth Court Service Support Officers will e-mail allocations from each Youth Court to the Youth Justice Specialist Manager on the day of Court who will be responsible for:

  • Allocation of Pre Sentence Reports - PSR's will only be allocated to workers who are part of the Court Duty Rota;
  • So Serious Reports - (Custody) will be allocated to Intensive Supervision and Surveillance Senior Practitioners (ISSSP) and Probation Officers;
  • Serious Enough Reports - on 17 year olds will be allocated to Probation Officers;
  • Bail/ Remand Cases - will be managed in TYS teams with agreed assistance from Bail Support worker. Section 20 paperwork will need to be completed if a young person is remanded to the care of the Local Authority. A Planning Meeting will need to take place within 24hours.

Where there is a capacity issue or a worker in the team has been working with a young person for a significant period, best practice would be for that person to write the PSR. This will require managers to be flexible and develop strong links and effective communication with the Youth Justice Specialist Manager.

Gate keeping and Quality Assurance of Pre Sentence Reports should be emailed 48hrs before sentence and PSR authors should make themselves available for alterations.

Allocation of Referral Orders, Youth Rehabilitation Orders and Detention and Training Orders, Section 90/91 Custody Cases

Youth Court Service Support Officers will email TYS Managers / Team Managers with the relevant allocations for their teams. Cases will be allocated depending on the type of order, the length of Court Order, type of YRO requirement and the application of the Scaled Approach.  Allocations need to be in accordance with Standards for Children in the Youth Justice System 2019 and the Youth Justice Case Management guidance.

4. Assessments

TYS Managers will make a decision as to the type of assessment required relevant to the needs of the Young person. The assessment options might be:

  • TYS Assessment: The TYS assessment on IES is in the format of a Common Assessment. If the assessment leads to a Family Around the Family, TYS will register with the Families First and Early Help Module Administrator (please see Families First and Early Help);
  • Child and Family Assessment: Where a young person appears to require S20 Accommodation;
  • ASSET: Youth Justice Cases will continue to use ASSET and the application of the scaled approach to determine the level and intensity of the intervention.

Additional specialist assessments/screening tools may be used to identify and explore specific areas e.g. CRAFFT tool for substance misuse, Aim Assessments for sexually harmful behaviour, learning styles questionnaire and the TYS Risk Assessment Tool (see Appendix 1: TYS Risk Assessment Tool).

If the case is assessed as high risk /complex or extremely vulnerable (i.e. risk of suicide or self harm, risk of exploitation, substance misuse where placing a young person at risk), then the staff will need to discuss the case with their line manager. The discussion should  ensure that the relevant specialist workers are involved (e.g. A-DASH) and that the case is on the agenda for a Risk Panel Meeting.

If a referral is suspected of meeting the criteria for Safeguarding & Specialist Services the TYS Manager will liaise with the relevant Assessment Team Manager (Safeguarding & Specialist Services), taking into account Hertfordshire Safeguarding Procedures, Referrals.

When considering a conclusion that alternative care arrangements are required for a young person, a Child and Family Assessment of needs and circumstances, as well as the views of the young person and parents, must be completed. The assessment of need must demonstrate that consideration has been given to all possible alternative options and why the risks cannot be managed within the community and of what community based work has been undertaken. If community based services are refused by the child/young person or family, then accommodation will not be offered unless there are clear safeguarding issues.

Information Sharing Consent Form will be used as appropriate.

Click here for LCS Guides.

5. Risk Management

TYS Interventions will address the specific needs and risks identified and respond accordingly. Cases at immediate risk of family breakdown; where family breakdown has happened or where considered an extremely vulnerable young person; or those assessed as high risk; will require an immediate response and will need to be seen immediately after discussion with TYS Manager and preferably on the day of referral. This could include young people who are exhibiting high-risk behaviour and parents/carers are struggling to keep the young person safe.

Professional judgement and the use of supervision will determine the intensity of the intervention required. However risk is dynamic and family and TYS workers may have to respond to the changing needs of the young person and the family i.e. if there is an escalation which could result in family breakdown, homelessness, risk of harm to self or others, then this will require a rapid response to manage the crisis effectively.

Where TYS request a service from others (i.e. CAMHS, ARC, A-DASH), the expectation is that the TYS allocated worker ensures there is a robust intervention to manage risks or needs whilst awaiting additional services.

Where there is a risk of family breakdown, the case worker will assess the situation, negotiate with the young person and family and, where needed, put in additional measures to manage risks. This may involve other family members having young people for a respite period while an intervention programme is worked on or alerting other agencies who may be involved with the family e.g. Community Mental Health Teams.

The Targeted Youth Support Risk Assessment Tool (see Appendix 1: TYS Risk Assessment Tool) provides a matrix to score risks which can help to identify the level of intervention required. All high risk cases should be discussed with TYS Team Managers/Team Managers and put on the agenda for a Risk Panel Meeting. 

If a case managed in TYS needs to be escalated to Safeguarding & Specialist Services, the TYS Manager will liaise with the appropriate Team Manager in Safeguarding & Specialist Services.  Where Safeguarding & Specialist Services carry out a S47 investigation, it is the expectation that TYS continues to keep the case open, liaising closely with the S&SS team to ensure effective working together. In such cases, it is essential that the roles and responsibilities of each worker are fully understood, with the social worker conducting a S47 investigation leading the intervention, given the statutory nature of their work. A Child and Family Assessment will be carried out by S&SS as part of the S47 investigation. If the S47 investigation/Child and Family Assessment concludes no risk of significant harm, a robust handover back to TYS needs to take place where there is an appropriate TYS role.

6. Partnership Working and Additional Resources

Additional support for families can be requested from the Adolescent Resource Centre (ARC) Referral forms.

Referral will need to be completed in order for ARC to consider whether the needs meet their criteria. If ARC does consider the critera are met the TYS should take to Hertfordshire Access to Resources Panel (HARP) (see Authorisation for a Child to be Looked After and Funding Agreements Outside H.A.R.P. Procedure) to agree the provision of this service. TYS workers will work together with the ARC whilst retaining case management responsibility during a time limited ARC intervention.

A voluntary agreement should be reached with the young person and family, taking into account their views and setting out expectations of the intervention, including timescales and how often they can expect to be seen. Information Sharing Form - Targeted Youth Support CS0266F1 should be signed by the young person,

TYS workers will implement intervention plans for families, drawing on other resources and specialist workers. This can include joint working and group work programmes which are running across Services for Young People, e.g. ADASH. Specialist workers within TYS are also available to provide consultation and advice around specific areas, e.g. mental health.

Family Group Conferences (see Family Group Conferences Procedure) can be particularly effective when used at an early stage to avoid or reduce the need for S20 Accommodation. A Family Group Conference should therefore be considered as a valuable tool to engage families in planning where significant risk of family breakdown or when a family or young person experience crisis.  Family Group Conferences often provide a more holistic support service for the whole family, alongside professional involvement.

Section 17 - Child in Need - Funding: (please also see Section 17 and Financial Support for Children and Families Procedure).

Each Targeted Youth Support Team has a small budget which is earmarked section 17 funding.  This funding can be used for the prevention of accommodation of children and young people via the purchase of third party services i.e. support packages, but not staffing or accommodation.

The TYS Team Manager is the budget manager. The Team Manager or Team Manager will agree and authorise all section 17 expenditure to a limit of £500 per family. Any requested expenditure over this threshold must be authorised by the Service Manager.

Appendix 1: TYS Risk Assessment Tool

Click here to view Appendix 1: TYS Risk Assessment Tool.

Trix procedures

Only valid for 48hrs