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Working with children and young people in trouble

Working with children and young people within the youth justice system is both highly demanding and potentially very rewarding. To do this effectively and humanely you will require both a wide range of professional competencies and an ability to critically reflect on your practice. This module is designed to equip you with the basic practical skills necessary to support the needs of children and young people and address their troublesome behaviour. You will need some current experience of working directly with young people who are within the youth justice system.  

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OU qualifications are modular in structure; the credits from this undergraduate-level module could count towards a certificate of higher education, diploma of higher education, foundation degree or honours degree.

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Module code
Study level
1 7 4
Study method
Distance Learning
Module cost
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Entry requirements
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What you will study

This module will focus on workplace-based learning with significant elements of assessment of your own practice in your (youth justice) workplace. It will enable you to apply the knowledge, skills and insights that make up the foundations of effective practice in the field of youth justice.

Learning and assessment will be focused on developing and evidencing the practice competencies necessary for working in this multi-agency context.

K116 will support you in providing evidence of competencies set at undergraduate OU level 1. These competencies will draw on the National Standards in youth justice and will be assessed through:

  • evidence of practice
  • four practice-based assignments
  • an end-of-module assessment.

Given the practical nature of this module, you will receive the support of an Open University tutor and your evidence of practice will need to be verified by your line manager or their nominee based in your workplace.

Successful completion of this module will provide you with a sound understanding of the methods, values and principles of effective practice in youth justice and a basic level of competence in applying these in the team or agency in which you work.

You will learn

Through the successful completion of K116 you will learn to:

  • develop supportive and respectful relationships with children, young people and their families, as the basis for effective practice in youth justice
  • actively promote the welfare and life opportunities of children and young people in the youth justice system
  • contribute to the appropriate assessment of children and young people in the youth justice system as the basis of appropriate interventions and programmes
  • contribute to the planning and delivery of interventions and programmes designed to tackle the risks faced by young people, to their current welfare, to their healthy development and to their life opportunities; and to enable them to desist from offending or reduce their offending behaviour
  • promote the safety and security of children and young people and, specifically, the safeguarding of these children and young people from abuse and neglect
  • where relevant, to support victims and survivors of offences committed by children and young people
  • work in effective partnerships and collaborations with other professional groups and other agencies, including the sharing of information and understanding different roles and responsibilities
  • demonstrate in your practice an informed awareness of ethical and legal foundations to effective practice in the youth justice system
  • constructively reflect upon and plan for your own continuing personal and professional development
  • communicate effectively with children and young people in ways that are appropriate for their age, maturity and abilities.

Vocational relevance

As a module of the Foundation Degree in Youth Justice, the module reflects the national occupational standards of the sector and will enable you to gain the necessary knowledge and skills to work effectively in the youth justice system.

Outside the UK

This module is only available in England and Wales. 

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor who will help you with the study material. They will also mark and comment on your written work, and you can ask them for advice and guidance. Part of your tuition is delivered online so some of the contact with your tutor will be through email and online discussion forums, although phone communication may also be used. We will also be able to offer online group tutorials and face-to-face day schools that you are encouraged to attend. Where these are held will depend on the distribution of students taking the module. 

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.

Support from your workplace

This is a work-based learning module and you will need the support of your workplace. In particular you will need a line manager or their nominee to confirm your practice learning plan and verify your practice. This person is known as a Work-based Supervisor. They also receive a guide to help them in this role. The Open University will also appoint a Practice Monitor to advise you on verification.



The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box above.

You will be expected to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) online through the eTMA system unless there are some difficulties which prevent you from doing so. In these circumstances, you must negotiate with your tutor to get their agreement to submit your assignment on paper.

Your end-of-module assessment (EMA) will be a piece of written work, which must be submitted online, and a practice assessment profile with evidence of practice.

Future availability

The details given here are for the module that starts in October 2015 which we expect to be it's final presentation.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the Module Regulations and the Student Regulations which are available on our Essential documents website.

Course work includes:

4 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school



  • should have normally studied or be studying currently the theory module Foundations for effective practice in youth justice (K115). Alternatively, you can study both modules at the same time.
  • must have an enhanced Criminal Records Bureau check prior to the start of the module
  • must have some current experience of working directly with young people who are within the youth justice system.

As this module entails some assessment of your practice, you will need opportunities to demonstrate a range of practical competencies. These are likely to include opportunities to:

  • experience youth justice work in one or more different contexts (working on a one-to-one basis with children and young people, in groups and in the community)
  • engage in a variety of different tasks (promoting the welfare of children and young people and preventing further offending)
  • develop the key and cognitive skills necessary for successful completion of the module.

Settings for such opportunities are either a youth offending team or work in the secure estate. Some professional and voluntary settings where work is undertaken with children and young people in a youth justice context can also be appropriate.

If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.

Preparatory work

You will receive guidance of how to get started online. This will provide you with information on using your computer for OU study and working with the Computing Guide. For example, it explains how to access and use the website and online discussion forums. If you have time before the module starts, you can work through this and explore all the online services available to you.


Start End England fee Register
03 Oct 2015 Jun 2016 £2700.00

To register for this course - see How to register below. Registration closes 10/09/15

You may need to apply for some payment or funding options earlier. Please check the Fees and Funding information or contact us for information.

October 2015 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.

To register for this module, please refer to the entry requirements and contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service (online registration is not available).

Additional Costs

Study costs

There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a laptop, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

If you're on a low income you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after you register.

Ways to pay for this module

Open University Student Budget Account

The Open University Student Budget Accounts Ltd (OUSBA) offers a convenient 'pay as you go' option to pay your OU fees, which is a secure, quick and easy way to pay. Please note that The Open University works exclusively with OUSBA and is not able to offer you credit facilities from any other provider. All credit is subject to status and proof that you can afford the repayments.

You pay the OU through OUSBA in one of the following ways:

  • Register now, pay later – OUSBA pays your module fee direct to the OU. You then repay OUSBA interest-free and in full just before your module starts. 0% APR representative. This option could give you the extra time you may need to secure the funding to repay OUSBA.
  • Pay by instalments – OUSBA calculates your monthly fee and number of instalments based on the cost of the module you are studying. APR 5.1% representative.

Read more about Open University Student Budget Accounts (OUSBA).  

Employer sponsorship

Studying with The Open University can boost your employability. OU qualifications are recognised and respected by employers for their excellence and the commitment they take to achieve one. They also value the skills that students learn and can apply in the workplace.

More than one in ten OU students are sponsored by their employer, and over 30,000 employers have used the OU to develop staff so far. If the qualification you’ve chosen is geared towards your job or developing your career, you could approach your employer to see if they will sponsor you by paying some or all of the fees. 

  • Your employer just needs to complete a simple form to confirm how much they will be paying and we will invoice them.
  • You won’t need to get your employer to complete the form until after you’ve chosen your modules.  

Credit/debit card

You can pay part or all of your tuition fees upfront with a debit or credit card when you register for each module. 

We accept American Express, Maestro (UK only), Mastercard, Visa/Delta and Visa Electron. 

Mixed payments

We know that sometimes you may want to combine payment options. For example, you may wish to pay part of your tuition fee with a debit card and pay the remainder in instalments through an Open University Student Budget Account (OUSBA).

For more information about combining payment options, speak to an adviser or book a call back at a time that is convenient to you.

Please note: your permanent address/domicile will affect your fee status and therefore the fees you are charged and any financial support available to you. The fees and funding information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2016. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees. 

This information was provided on 01/08/2015.

What's included

Module guide, study units, practice related proformas and an audio CD and DVD video.

You will have access to a website through which teaching, assessment and Library resources are available. Electronic versions of most of the printed study materials are also provided on the website.

Computing requirements

You will need a computer with internet access to study this module as the study materials and activities are accessible via a web browser. Any other computer-based activities you will need to carry out, such as word processing, using spreadsheets, taking part in online forums, and submitting files to the university for assessment, are specified in the module materials. If any additional software is needed for these tasks it will either be provided or is freely available.

We recommend either of the following:

  • Windows desktop or laptop computer running Windows 7 or later operating system
  • Macintosh desktop or laptop computer running OS X 10.7 or later operating system.

A netbook, tablet, smartphone or Linux computer that supports one of the browsers listed below may be suitable. The screen size should be at least 1024 (H) x 768 (W) pixels. If you intend to use one of these devices please ensure you have access to a suitable desktop or laptop computer in case you are unable to carry out all the module activities on your mobile device.

We recommend a minimum 1 Mbps internet connection and any of the following browsers:

  • Internet Explorer 9 and above
  • Apple Safari 7 and above
  • Google Chrome 31 and above
  • Mozilla Firefox 31 and above.

Note: using the latest version for your browser will maximise security when accessing the internet. Using company or library computers may prevent you accessing some internet materials or installing additional software.

See our Skills for OU study website for further information about computing skills for study and educational deals for buying Microsoft Office software.

If you have a disability

Written transcripts of any audio components and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of printed material are available. Some Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader. Other alternative formats of the study materials may be available in the future. 

If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Find out more about our services for disabled students.