Decision details

PCC DN - Your Choice- Wigan CBT Pilot

Decision Maker: Director for Police, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


‘Your Choice’ is the only current provider of bespoke, cohort-relevant training in CBT techniques that equips (at scale via train the trainer model) existing practitioners who are supporting children at risk of youth violence in the field of youth justice, youth work and complex safeguarding to enhance their practice with practical CBT tools, whilst working within a local authority’s practice framework. CBT is recognised as an effective intervention for a range of emotional and behavioural conditions associated with the use of violence. The programme enables existing youth practitioners to use CBT techniques available with children most affected by violence, through enhancing their skills in building therapeutic relationships with them, so that increased pro social behaviours and safety for these children can be achieved.

Whilst traditional CBT has sometimes been seen by some to negate systemic, relational and trauma-based approaches, this programme alternatively seeks to work with these wider understandings of the child’s personal / familial history and context and the systems of which they are a part.


The VRU wishes to award an allocation of £12,000 from the VRU Criminal Justice Delivery Group 23/24 budget to fund a contract enabling the scoping, feasibility assessment, and mobilisation of the ‘Your Choice’ Programme Pilot in Wigan with a view to then implementing in 24/25 and the potential for this to become a GM wide programme offer post Wigan evaluation.

‘Your Choice’ is a project aimed at reducing youth violence and helping young people to achieve their goals. The project works with children between 11 and 18 at risk of contextual harm, using psychologically informed, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) tools and techniques. It aims to empower young people by taking a public health approach to help break the cycle of violence and harm. It is currently delivered across 30 of the London Boroughs and has received funding from the London VRU, Home Office and Youth Endowment Fund to support implementation since 2021. This has included the YEF-funded evaluation Pilot Trial of ‘Your Choice’ from April 2022 to March 2023 (published October 2023). Following this YEF gave the go ahead for full-scale efficacy trial in May 2023 and this will run until Dec 2024. CBT is recognised within the YEF toolkit (An overview of existing research on approaches to preventing serious youth violence) as having a high impact on preventing violent crime.

The training of Wigan practitioners to deliver the pilot Your Choice Project in GM would be delivered via a Train the Trainer model, at local authority level. The identified trainers will have two days of introductory training, led by the pan-London Your Choice Programme Practice Lead. The Your Choice LA Trainers will then be equipped to deliver the four-day training programme to the youth practitioners who work within Wigan’s safeguarding adolescent service (which includes youth justice and complex safeguarding teams) in order to cascade best practice to practitioners within the system.

Publication date: 09/05/2024

Date of decision: 13/03/2024