Delivering circles of support and accountability to protect communities from sexual harm and sexual reoffending


Young People’s Services

Our Young People’s Service accepts referrals for young people aged between 10 and 20 who have sexually offended or have displayed harmful sexual behaviour. Ideally the young person needs to accept responsibility for their behaviour. A Circle is made up of a young person and a group of specially trained community volunteers. The purpose of the Circle is to provide a supportive social network that enables purposeful reintegration into the community while managing the risk of further harmful sexual behaviour.

The Circle will hold the young person to account, support positive progress and challenge the individual about inappropriate attitudes, beliefs, thoughts and feelings.

Who is it for?
The young person doesn’t need to have been involved with the Criminal Justice System but should have had (or be engaging with) an intervention to address their harmful sexual behaviour. Though helpful, it is not essential for a young person to have taken full responsibility for their harmful sexual behaviour.

The Young People’s Service is divided into two parts:

Youth Service: young people aged 10 to 17

The Circle will provide a supportive social network to reduce isolation, build self-esteem and may be able to help with things like schoolwork, job interviews and accommodation. We welcome referrals from Be Safe, social services and youth offending services.

Young Adults Service: young people aged 18 to 20

Circle volunteers will encourage young people to talk about their goals and any concerns, provide practical support with issues like jobs and housing, and help the individual build confidence and develop social skills. We welcome referrals from probation, social care, Glebe House and police.

How does it work?
The Circle meets for a couple of hours every week. Each Circle will be tailored to the individual needs and risks of the young person. Initial meetings may take place in a safe public place, such as a church or council office. Future meetings may then be at a local café or sports club. Formal reviews, to include professionals, will take place on a quarterly basis. Circles run for a minimum of 12 months but can continue for up to 18 months. The duration of the Circle will depend largely on how long the young person wants to carry on with it.

Is it mandatory?
The Circle is entirely voluntary and cannot be a condition of a Community Sentence or Licence. The young person must want to stop behaving in ways that are harmful sexually and must be prepared to share details of their harmful sexual behaviour with their Circle.


Our Funders

Today is #WhiteRibbonDay & International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Wear a white ribbon to #MakeThePromise to never commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women @WhiteRibbon_UK
25 November 2020
Thank you @AlisonHernandez for including @CirclesSW in your @PlymouthHerald 'Thought of the day: helping to break the cycle of offending', and for your ongoing support for our work @DC_PCC
24 November 2020
"Independent evaluation said @CirclesSW work 'should be considered a valuable part of a community-led, strengths-based and #restorative approach to reducing the risk of future #SexualAbuse'" says @AlisonHernandez in yesterday's @PlymouthHerald #NoMoreVictims @DC_PCC
24 November 2020