Standards for children in the youth justice system

These standards define the minimum expectation for all agencies that provide statutory services to ensure good outcomes for children in the youth justice system.


Standards self assessment 2023

Request an accessible format.
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Standards self assessment 2023 (Word document)


These standards replace National Standards for Youth Justice Services (2013).

They aim to:

  • provide a framework for youth justice practice and ensure that quality is maintained
  • encourage and support innovation and good practice to improve outcomes for children who commit crime
  • ensure that every child lives a safe and crime-free life, and makes a positive contribution to society
  • align with the YJB’s Child First principle
  • assist the YJB and inspectorates when they assess whether youth justice services are meeting their statutory requirements

These standards are set by the Secretary of State for Justice on the advice of the YJB.

Also included is the Public Sector Equality Duty assessment of these standards.

Standards self assessment

We also provide a standards self-assessment tool to be used by all youth justice services, strategic partners and management boards to assess performance against Standard 2: At Court.

This must be used by all partnerships for the audit of this standard, to be submitted to the Youth Justice Board by 30 October 2023.

Published 21 February 2019
Last updated 25 February 2019 + show all updates
  1. These standards replace National Standards for Youth Justice Services (2013).

  2. First published.