Change Direction is a prevention and early intervention support scheme for young people aged 10-17 in North Yorkshire, who may be committing antisocial behaviour or very low level offences, with the intention of diverting them away from the Criminal Justice System.

The Change Direction diversion scheme will engage with young people, at an early stage before criminal behaviour becomes habitual, to improve circumstances for both the young person and also the local community. The young person will be provided with nurture and support, from a dedicated keyworker, in order to begin to address any underlying causes of future criminal behaviour. The young person’s engagement with the Change Direction scheme will be on a voluntary basis. 
The overall aims of the Change Direction scheme are to:

  • Reduce the number of young people entering the criminal justice system as a first-time entrant
  • Reduce Crime and Antisocial Behaviour incidents in localised areas of North Yorkshire and the City of York
  • Reduce re-offending by young people
  • To support young people to make positive progress against their identified needs.

The Change Direction Diversion scheme, provided by North Yorkshire Youth, will be trauma-informed and offer multiple and wide-ranging methods of engagement and intervention, which will be led by the interests of the young person.  The support offered will enable young people to work towards goals and achieve outcomes, the intensiveness of the support will be responsive to each young person’s needs.

Key components of the Change Direction scheme

  • An initial assessment of needs and strengths and the production of a tailored support plan
  • The offer of one-to-one and group work
  • Practical support and emotional trauma-informed support where required
  • Advocacy and support to access specialist services
  • The delivery of in-house interventions
  • Referral to existing commissioned services and other specialist services 
  • Planned exit with an offer of peer support
  • Measurement of progress against identified needs 

Community Outreach

The Change Direction scheme will also undertake community outreach engagement and will adopt some of the principles of detached youth work, in order to encourage engagement from young people within local communities. This will be driven by local intelligence and will be informed by any key issues young people may be facing in specific areas.

The community outreach engagement work will have a particular focus on identifying young people from hard to reach groups or communities, for example from BAME or socially isolated rural communities across North Yorkshire and the City of York. As well as those young people that might not yet be known to existing keyworker services, such as the Youth Justice teams, or those who may have fallen through service gaps who are not currently working with keyworker services but may be known to NYP or the Community Safety Hubs.

Referrals to the Change Direction Diversion Scheme

Referrals are welcome from a range of agencies. 

Referrals to the scheme can be made via this link. You will be required to enter your email address and then you will be sent an email, click on the appropriate link for the Change Direction scheme. Once submitted, the referral form will go directly to North Yorkshire Youth who will then make contact with the individual to arrange an appointment.

Alternatively you can request a referral form from Clare Yates, Youth Development Manager at Referrals are welcome from a range of agencies including schools/education settings, Community Safety Hubs and North Yorkshire Police. 

For NYP the referral form can be found on the sub site.
For further information about the Change Direction scheme contact