Community Panel Member
Local people are invited to volunteer on our
referral order panels to help support young people to
refrain from offending behaviour. Suffolk's Youth Offending and Prevention Service runs the panels, which came into operation in Suffolk, on 1st August 2000. Training is given to panel members, and anybody aged 18 and over who has an interest in working with young people is welcome to apply to join the pool of volunteer Community Panel Members. This is a real opportunity for local communities and the victims of crime to get involved directly in tackling youth offending in Suffolk.
Referral Order Panels consist of a Youth Offending Service Case Holder and two volunteer Panel Members. The Panel members participate as representatives of the community. The aim is to engage the young person to talk about their offending behaviour and identify factors that may cause them to offend.
The role of a volunteer Referral Order Panel member requires you to be an effective communicator; listening to what young people have to say and being confident in asking questions and challenging appropriately. It is important to be able to empathise with both the young person and the victim, whilst remaining impartial and to work within the boundaries of a Court Order. Team work is essential to this role, as well as understanding and working with issues of diversity.
Referral Order Panels can be both challenging and rewarding and this is a role that would be beneficial to those wishing to gain experience of working with young people.
Volunteering with YOS
The Youth Offending Team in Leeds have produced some short videos about volunteering with a YOS, if you would find it helpful to increase your understanding of the volunteering roles we currently have on offer then you might find it helpful to have a look. The videos can be found here: