The AYM (Association of Youth Offending Team Managers) is the professional group representing 83% of YOTs across England. The organisation was set up in 2001 to promote the role and status of YOT Managers and to agree policy initiatives that put young people at the centre of the Youth Justice System.
The AYM is responsible for all matters affecting the professional role of YOT Managers. It takes a particularly keen interest in anything that affects the efficiency, professional standing or welfare of its Members.
The Association works through its Executive Committee to enhance the status of YOTs. The Association aims to influence government policy as it impacts upon young people and the youth justice system. The AYM is funded by Members’ subscriptions. Full membership of the AYM is open to all those holding the title ‘Youth Offending Team Manager’ or ‘Head of Youth Offending Service’ (or their equivalent) and to 2nd and 3rd tier managers in YOTs or YOS. Benefits include membership of a professionally recognised body, which is an authoritative voice for YOT Managers.
The Association’s guiding principles are:
- The welfare needs of children should be central to all decisions made in relation to developments in youth justice.
- Priority should be given to areas of the highest deprivation in the distribution of resources from the centre.
- The experience of children as victims should be central to policy making
- Children should always have the benefit of a distinct and separate justice system that takes in to account their needs as children.
- Custody (loss of liberty) should be a last resort in the field of Youth Justice.