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For Parents

We understand that, as parents, you play a crucial role in the lives of your children, and we are here to support and guide you through the challenges that may arise during their journey into adolescence and young adulthood.

We believe in the potential for change and growth in every young person, and we are committed to working alongside you to ensure your child’s well-being and future success.

At the Youth Partnership Service, we offer a range of resources, programmes, and support services designed to address the unique needs of young people and their families. Our dedicated team is here to provide you with information, guidance, and assistance as we work together to build a brighter future for our youth in Luton.

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If your child is arrested for committing an offence, the Youth Partnerships Service will undertake a triage assessment, either in custody or at your home. The assessment will explore whether it would be possible to work with you and your child on a voluntary basis to make sure the behaviour isn’t repeated and depending on how serious the alleged offence is, we will work to divert your child from the youth justice system. This mean that if the behaviour is not repeated, there will be no record of the offence.

Prevention is support and intervention with children (and their parents/carers) who may be displaying behaviours which may indicate underlying needs or vulnerability. In practice this involves a tiered approach of early and targeted prevention. The aim being to address unmet needs, safeguard, promote positive outcomes and stop children entering the formal youth justice system.

Diversion is where a young person may receive an alternative outcome that does not result in a criminal record, avoids escalation into the formal youth justice system, which can result in harm and stigmatisation. 

This may involve the Service delivering support / intervention that may or may not be voluntary and/or signposting children (and parent/carers) into relevant services. All support should be proportionate, aimed at addressing unmet needs and supporting prosocial life choices.

If you are going to Court for the first time, you may not know what to expect. It can be a daunting place, especially when you are worried about what is going to happen to your child.


Key Points:

  • Magistrates serving in a Youth Court will have had specific training to enable them to deal with young people effectively
  • To help you and your child prepare for Court it is important to find a solicitor. The solicitor will meet with you and your child to discuss the case and will offer you legal advice
  • If you or your child cannot attend the Court on any occasion it is very important that you inform the Court of the reason why. You can do this through your solicitor before the hearing

Youth Courts are part of the Magistrates Courts and are used to hear cases of those who aged 11-18 years old. Magistrates serving in a Youth Court will have had specific training to enable them to deal with young people effectively. Youth Courts are presented differently to adult courts as they are more informal and smaller. Only the child’s parent or guardian will be allowed in the court to accompany the child. If the child or young person is under the age.

To help you and your child prepare for Court it is important to find a solicitor. The solicitor will meet with you and your child to discuss the case and will offer you legal advice. They will let your child know what to do and say in Court. It is important to contact a solicitor before your first Court appearance. Check with them whether you are entitled to legal aid.

You will be expected to arrive at 9.45am for a morning appearance or at 1.45pm for an afternoon appearance. It is important to check the time with your solicitor and allow for plenty of time to travel to Court. You will not be given a specific time for when your case will be heard. You will need to report to the Court Usher. They are usually dressed in a black gown and will be carrying a clipboard. They will tell you which Courtroom your child’s case will be heard in and where to wait. They will also ask your name and which solicitor is representing your child.

The court may adjourn the case for a variety of reasons. They may wish to set a trial date, or request reports to be prepared. If a report is requested a member of the Youth Partnership Service will talk to you outside the Courtroom and explain what it is about. It may be that you will need to return to the Court with your child a few times before the case is dealt with.

If you or your child cannot attend the Court on any occasion it is very important that you inform the Court of the reason why. You can do this through your solicitor before the hearing. If you are ill on the day and don’t appear in Court, you may have to produce a sick note.

  • Discharges. These are the same as for adult offenders. …
  • Fines. As with adults, the fine should reflect the offence committed and the child or young person’s ability to pay
  • Referral orders
  • Youth rehabilitation orders
  • Custodial sentences.

A pre-sentence report is intended to give the sentencing court some understanding as to why you committed the offence, how you feel about it now, and what your background, family and work circumstances are. Using this information, the court will decide the most appropriate sentence to give you.

The Pre-Sentence Report will help the Magistrates or Judge decide on the appropriate sentence for a young person. The person writing your Pre-Sentence Report will explain all the different rulings during an appointment.

  • You
  • Your parents, if they have been interviewed
  • Your social worker
  • Your solicitor
  • Your barrister
  • The Crown Prosecution Barrister
  • The Judge
  • The court clerk
  • Probation staff
  • Youth offending service officers.
  • Make sure you are on time
  • It is a good idea to wear smart clothes to make a good impression
  • You can take your parents or an appropriate adult (anyone over the age of 18) with you to court
  • There will be a member of the Youth Justice Service there to help and support you
  • You will need go through security before entering the court. You and your bags will be checked and scanned
  • You might have to wait, so bring something to keep you busy and something to eat

Comments, Compliments & Complaints

Through our Edge of Care team, we work with high risk families where children and young people are at risk of entering the local authority care system or where children and young people in care are at risk of placement breakdown. Work is undertaken with families on both a voluntary and statutory basis dependent on circumstances.



Parenting Orders are court orders designed to support and guide parents or carers in preventing their child from engaging in offending or antisocial behavior. These orders may be issued if the child has failed to attend school regularly, misbehaved at school, or faced issues with the police.

Any parent or carer living with the young person, including stepparents or grandparents, can receive a Parenting Order.

  • For children under 16, the Court considers family circumstances before issuing the order, based on a report provided by the Youth Partnership Service (YPS) or Local Education Authority (LEA).
  • Non-compliance with the Parenting Order without a reasonable excuse may have serious consequences.
  • A Parenting Order involves attending a parenting program lasting up to three months and may include additional requirements lasting up to 12 months, such as curfew or ensuring regular school attendance.
  • The Court issues Parenting Orders after an assessment conducted by YPS or LEA, considering the family’s suitability and circumstances.

This is a Court Order which is designed to give you support and guidance. It aims to help you prevent your child from offending and/or antisocial behaviour and/or help you get them to attend school every day, and/or address issues of behaviour at school after they have been excluded.  

You must attend a parenting programme which may last up to three months.  The programme will help you deal more effectively with your child’s behaviour and provide support and guidance. The Court may add other requirement lasting for up to 12 months, for instance:

  • That you make sure your child is at home during set hours, sometimes called a curfew
  • That you make sure that he or she attends school regularly and on time

A residential programme could be included in the Order if it is considered to be more beneficial than a non-residential programme and to be a reasonable requirement given your family circumstance.

Any parent or carer that a young person lives with can be given a Parenting Order – so this may include a stepparent or grandparent. A parent who is not living with the young person, but is in regular contact may also be issued with an Order separately from their other parent. Both parents may receive the same Order or a separate one depending on the circumstances.

An assessment will involve someone from the Youth Partnership Service or Local Education Authority arranging to talk to you, to gain an understanding of the problems and issues that may have contributed to your child’s behaviour leading up to the Court appearance.  They will consider your suitability for a Parenting Order or whether you will be offered help on a voluntary basis. 

The YPS and LEA will try to recommend support that is the most helpful to you and your family.  In addition, they may provide a written report to the Court. If your child is under 16 years old, the Court will consider family circumstances before issuing a Parenting Order, and this information should be included in the report provided by your YPS or LEA. For older children, 16 and 17 years old, the Court will use its discretion on whether it obtains further information.

Before a Parenting Order is considered the YPS and LEA will normally offer you support on a voluntary basis. If a more structured approach is felt to be needed this may involve a Parenting Contract. A Parenting Contract is a written agreement between the YPS or LEA and the parent. This agreement states what needs to be done to reach certain goals. The responsible officer in the YPS or LEA will plan how to reach these goals. It is important to keep the requirements of a Parenting Contract as the YPS or LEA and magistrates will consider a parent’s past commitment to a Parenting Contract when considering a Parenting Order.

Yes. Where you appeal to will depend on where the order was imposed. Most Parenting Orders are made in the Magistrates Court and appeals to the Crown Court

A Parenting Order can be made without the parent or guardian in Court in specific circumstances. As a supportive parent it is bet for your child if you go with them to Court. It gives you a chance to express your views if the Court asks for them. A Court can also issue you with a summons so that you must attend. You will also be able to get legal advice from your solicitor about being placed on a Parenting Order and on your rights to appeal against it. 

A responsible officer will be allocated to you for the period of the Parenting Order. Any difficulties you have complying with the conditions of the Parenting Order must be discussed with them. If you cannot attend any appointments made, for example, if you are ill, you should telephone the named responsible officer and explain the reasons why you cannot attend. You may be asked for a sick not if you are ill. If you do not comply with any conditions of the Parenting Order without giving a reasonable excuse to the responsible officer you may be in breach of the Parenting Order. This means you will be given a written warning and if you still failed to comply a ‘Review Meeting’ will be called. If after these procedures you still do not comply with the order you may be prosecuted.  If you are convicted the Court can:

  • Fine you (up to £1000)
  • Issue a Community Penalty

We Are Here to Help​

We support families, individuals, or young people involved in our current programs, whether through a court order or not.

We support families by sending two staff members to your home, one to ask questions and the other to listen and join the discussion from time to time to share their professional opinion. These questions will help you explore how family members deal with different situations and learn about each other’s viewpoints.

Our staff conduct these conversations to discuss a range of subjects suitable for the family. Discussions can be anything from how the family unit is doing to each member’s involvement and situation management. Others talk about particular problems. Some talk about their relationship with each other, for example, if they are having difficulty communicating with each other or if they feel unhappy or stressed by a particular situation.

You can come alone or bring another family member/friend with you. Sometimes we ask for specific family members to attend.

Each session will last about one hour and be held weekly or fortnightly. The total number of sessions will be agreed with you at the first initial session.

If you are unable to attend a session, we would appreciate a notice at least 48 hours in advance so that we can make alternative arrangements. If you are required to participate in a session as part of a court order, this would be considered a breach of the agreement and you will be returned to the court.

All personal information shared with our staff will be kept confidential within our service unless we deem someone to be at risk of harming themselves, someone in or out of the family, or we are made aware of a criminal act/believe disclosing the information would prevent offending.

Parenting Contract

Before considering a Parenting Order, YPS or LEA may offer voluntary support, and if needed, a Parenting Contract may be utilized. This written agreement outlines specific goals to be achieved, and the responsible officer plans the steps to reach them. Past commitment to a Parenting Contract is taken into account when considering a Parenting Order.

Appealing and Non-Compliance:

  • You can appeal a Parenting Order in the appropriate court depending on where it was issued.
  • It is best to accompany your child to court to express your views if asked. Legal advice will be provided, including your rights to appeal.
  • If you encounter difficulties complying with the Parenting Order, discuss them with the assigned responsible officer. Notify them if you can’t attend scheduled appointments due to valid reasons. Failure to comply without a reasonable excuse may result in a written warning, a ‘Review Meeting,’ and potential prosecution, which could lead to fines or community penalties.