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Educational aims

The overall aim of the qualification is to equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge to work effectively in the youth justice sector. The module enables you to develop the skills, knowledge and understanding to develop, implement and evaluate practice within evidence based framework. You will be required to engage in a systematic review and critical assessment of current ways of working in youth justice including your own practice and that of your team.

On completion of the certificate, you will be able to:

  • demonstrate a sound knowledge and critical understanding of the youth justice system in England and Wales
  • apply this knowledge and understanding to your practice and its operation within a multi-agency context
  • compare critically the appropriateness of different approaches to preventing offending and re-offending by children and young people
  • understand the principles of evidence based practice and have insight into how this should be applied to prevent offending and re-offending by children and young people
  • show how you have an effective balance of generalist and specialist knowledge of the youth justice system
  • provide evidence – from your own practice and the operation of the team in which you work – of competence in putting these methods, values and principles into practice
  • accurately and discriminately specify, search for and use the information needed for effective practice in work within the youth justice system
  • show you are confident and competent in the relevant communication and learning skills, at a level that enables you to continue to develop as an autonomous learner and reflective practitioner.

Learning outcomes

The certificate provides opportunities for you to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, qualities, skills and other attributes in the following areas.

Knowledge and understanding

You will gain knowledge and understanding of the youth justice system in England and Wales, including:

  • the specific legislative and policy framework underpinning it and its broader, cross-agency legislative and policy contexts
  • the values and principles informing its operation and professional practice within it
  • the methods and approaches required to work effectively within it
  • at a ‘broad brush’ level, the full range of different tasks and approaches adopted within the youth justice system as a whole, their domains of applicability, their strengths and their potential pitfalls
  • at a more detailed level the specific tasks and approaches entailed in your own area of work
  • the relationship between research evidence and practice, as a basis for evidence-based effective practice used within the youth justice system.

Cognitive skills

You will be able to:

  • critically evaluate the appropriateness and effectiveness of different approaches to prevent offending and re-offending by children and young people
  • accurately and discriminately specify, search for and use the information needed for effective practice in work within the youth justice system
  • confidently and competently communicate at a level that enables continued development as an autonomous learner and reflective practitioner
  • apply a range of theoretical frameworks when reflecting on your own practice and experience.

Practical and/or professional skills

You will be able to:

  • develop yourself and others by critically reflecting on your own practice and that of your team. Development will be through identifying areas of practice that need improvement, planning for change and assessment of quality
  • promote equality and inclusion, and value diversity in all aspects of their practice. Avoid stereotyping and ‘labelling’ the children and young people with whom you work
  • empower people to realise and maintain their potential through partnership-style approaches to youth justice work
  • develop an awareness of how to communicate effectively and how to negotiate boundaries in situations of uncertainty and ambiguity, including interdisciplinary and interprofessional working.

Key skills

You will be able to:

  • monitor and evaluate your own learning and communication skills and apply learning strategies to improve your performance as a student and as a practitioner
  • reflect critically on your own practice in youth justice work, using ideas introduced in the module
  • develop autonomy as a learner, integrating study and personal development planning with an active awareness of skills development and a reflective approach to learning
  • communicate complex information, arguments, ideas and issues effectively, using clear structures and analysis
  • take part in workshops and discussions, showing evidence of learning from and reflecting on your own and other people’s contributions.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

Gaining knowledge and understanding will mainly be supported through learning materials, especially text-based activities.

In the initial pilot phase, your achievement of these outcomes will be supported by a module guide that leads you through existing study materials produced by the Youth Justice Board. In subsequent years the content of the Youth Justice Board materials will augmented and incorporated into a mix of materials and web-based resources.

In both cases activities in the text and at day schools will provide the basis for tutor-marked assignments (TMAs).

There will be six TMAs, starting with one that is primarily formative/diagnostic, followed by three mainly practice based and two that will assess your knowledge and understanding of these areas.

The end-of-module assessment (EMA) focuses on applying principles to practice, but will also assess your knowledge and understanding of the youth justice system.

Your achievement of these outcomes will be supported by study materials and resources, and especially through activities in which your knowledge and understanding are applied to practical tasks. Particularly relevant here is your work in conducting assessments, planning and implementing improvements in your practice, and applying quality standards (TMAs 01, 03, 04 and 05).

Two day schools will offer a range of activities and discussions, using the dynamics of small-group learning to support your skills development.

The EMA specifically targets your ability to conduct critical, reflective assessments of your own practice and make plans for your own continued professional development.

Your achievement of these outcomes will be supported through frequent activities in the study materials, including reflective and analytical activities.

Each of the six TMAs will require you to evidence your communication skills, as will the EMA and participation in the day schools.

Through tutor feedback on TMAs, together with your own reflective analysis, you will be enabled to systematically develop the effectiveness of your practice. You will be able to demonstrate this through the practice-focused TMAs and your EMA.

Study materials include extensive exploration of the values that underpin antidiscriminatory practice.