Community supervision

Young people who offend seriously or repeatedly may be charged to a youth court, and placed under a community supervision order.

These orders range in duration from three months to three years, during that period the young person will receive tailored supervision and support to help them towards a more positive life.

Referral order

A referral order is usually made when a young person appears in court for the first time. Most young people will get a referral order for their first convicted offence.

They will meet regularly with a panel of trained community volunteers, to agree a contract of change to help them towards a more positive life. The young person’s family will usually attend, and the victim is also often invited to participate.

This short video, made by North Yorkshire Youth Justice Service, explains the referral order panel in the English youth justice system.


Our referral order guide is available to view online. 

Youth rehabilitation order

When a young person is placed under a youth rehabilitation order, they must attend regular appointments with the youth justice service or other services. Every young person under a youth rehabilitation order will complete an agreed programme of work to help them to stay out of trouble and make better choices.

Our community supervision guide is available to view online.

Intensive supervision and surveillance

The intensive supervision and surveillance programme is a special sentence for serious or prolific young offenders who are at risk of being sent to custody. Supervision is provided 365 days a year, often outside of office hours and at weekends, so we can respond to the needs of young people and manage the risk they may pose to others.

Parenting order

If your child commits an offence an order could be given to parents (even if they do not live together), stepparents, guardians, or carers. A parenting order consists of an assessment and a parenting programme or counselling for a maximum of three months. This may be delivered on an individual basis, or in some areas there are group parenting programmes available.

Read our brief guide to parenting orders for more information.