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Last Updated: Sunday, 22 February, 2004, 22:23 GMT
Youth Inclusion and Support Panels
Group of youths
YISPs aim to reduce anti-social behaviour
Youth Inclusion and Support Panels (YISPs) are multi-agency planning groups that seek to prevent offending and anti-social behaviour by offering voluntary support services to high-risk 8 to 13-year-olds and their families.

They are different from Youth Inclusion Panels (YIPs) in that they have a much larger catchment area, with groups concentrating on areas of around 70,000 people.

They also don't simply target the "core 50" of worst potential offenders that YIPs concentrate on.

This type of programme was first floated in November 2002, when local areas across England and Wales were invited to express an interest in setting up such a scheme.

Reduce offending

There were 14 successful bids - with the first YISPs starting in February 2003. They received two months of development funding from the Youth Justice Board.

The successful bids came from Barking and Dagenham, Ealing, Greenwich, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Birmingham, Walsall, Knowsley, Liverpool, Nottingham, Lancashire, Salford, Wigan and Sheffield.

The primary aims of YISPs are to reduce offending and anti social behaviour in the areas they are operating and to ensure that children assessed as high risk by the YISP are in full-time education.

They do this by giving better access to mainstream support services such as social services, education and mental health services to the families who are referred.

Risk factors

Potential candidates are referred by various agencies such as social services, the police and schools, for a number of reasons.

It could be because the behaviour of the child is of concern to two or more agencies or their parents/carers or because the child is exposed to four or more 'risk' factors which make it seem likely that they will take part in anti-social or criminal behaviour.

Inclusion in such a scheme is entirely voluntary and both the parent/carer needs to give consent for referral to a YISP.

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