Effective Practice

What is effective practice?

The YJB defines effective practice as "practice which produces the intended results" (Chapman and Hough, 1998).

We support this definition and aim to drive better outcomes for children, families and victims of crime through:

  • maximising the availability of practice deemed effective at producing the results for which the youth justice system is accountable, namely,
  • reducing offending and reoffending by children and young people
  • reducing first-time entrants to the youth justice system
  • reducing the use of custody
  • assisting and supporting the youth justice sector to develop the evidence base
  • learning from the body of evidence we collectively generate to give the best possible practice advice to the sector.

Information on how the YJB delivers its approach to the identification and dissemination of effective practice

The Effective Practice Framework

The YJB’s Effective Practice Framework comprises the following elements:

  • The Effective Practice Classification System
  • The Effective Practice library
  • The Effective Practice Cycle

Practice Classification System

The YJB's Practice Classification System provides the youth justice sector with information about the effectiveness of programmes and practices in use across the youth justice system in England and Wales, wider children’s services and, where applicable, internationally.

The system is comprised of the following two components:

  • The Effective Practice Classification Panel
  • The Practice Classification Framework

Read more about how the system operates and the YJB’s approach to classifying practice in the documents below.

YJB Practice Classification Framework - full version (DOC 0.15mb)

YJB Practice Classification Framework - summary (DOC 0.13mb)

The Effective Practice library

The Effective Practice library is the YJB’s online collection of practice resources and materials.  The purpose of the library is to:

  • provide practitioners and commissioners in youth justice with easy access to examples of effective practice from other services and providers
  • allow those developing and using innovative practice to share what they have found to be effective in working with young people and delivering youth justice services.

The Effective Practice Cycle

The YJB’s bi-annual Effective Practice Cycle is a sector-led process.

Priority areas for effective practice are identified by the youth justice sector and fed into the YJB’s Corporate Planning process for the coming year.

The diagram below describes the process:

Effective practice prioritisation

As the first part of the bi-annual effective practice cycle we consult the sector on their priorities for effective practice. 

To participate, and inform the YJB's delivery on effective practice, sign up for email alerts on effective practice.

Priority areas identified in 2012 were as follows:   

  1. Child development and psychology (e.g. attachment and trauma theory)
  2. Looked-after children
  3. Speech, language and communication difficulties (post-identification)
  4. Sexually-harmful behaviour (including managing such behaviour in the secure estate)
  5. Effective services – engaging young people

These priority areas will be entered into the YJB’s corporate planning process, alongside priorities from other areas of the organisation and across government, for potential delivery in 2013/14.

The following two reports provide further details about the results of the 2012 prioritisation exercise.

Effective Practice Prioritisation Exercise 2012/13 - Stage 1a report: results and analysis (PDF 0.09mb)

Effective Practice Prioritisation Exercise 2012 - Stage 1b: Results of the focus groups (PDF 0.17mb) 

See below for information about effective practice priorities identified in previous years 

Priorities from 2011

The priorities identified in the 2011 exercise, for delivery against in 2012/13, were:

  1. Evaluating programmes and using evidence-based methodology
  2. Effective practice in working with young people with conduct and developmental disorders
  3. Effective practice in working with young people who have experienced domestic abuse
  4. Working with girls who offend

More information about these can be found in our Corporate Plan 2012/13 and the following two reports.

Effective Practice Prioritisation exercise 2011/12. Stage 1a: Results and analysis (PDF 0.18mb)

Effective Practice Prioritisation Exercise 2011/12. Stage 1b: Results of the focus groups (PDF 0.09mb)

To stay up to date with YJB effective practice developments and announcements, sign up for email alerts using the box on the right hand side of this page.

Policy and legislation

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