Agenda item

Inspection of Youth Offending Services in Lancashire


The Chair welcomed Barbara Bath, Head of Fostering, Adoption, Residential and YOT, to the meeting.


The report presented provided the committee with an update following Lancashire's Youth Offending Team (YOT) inspection in April/May 2019 by HM Inspectorate of Probation (HMIP) as a full joint inspection. The inspection covered three domains, Organisational Delivery, Court Disposals and Out-of-Court Disposals. The overall rating was 'Good' with six recommendations made by the inspectorate.


Members were informed that a post Inspection action plan was developed in response to the six recommendations. The plan had been shared with the Lancashire Youth Justice Management Board and key partners were supporting the progress on relevant actions.


Regarding the YOT's current performance it was measured nationally against three indicators, first time offenders, reoffenders and youths in custody. It was reported that it was vital to have participation in engagement with young people and all young people who received a service from the YOT were asked to complete a self-assessment questionnaire on the progress they had made and how the service helped them.


There was an analysis of the feedback from these questionnaires every six months. Feedback was generally positive and that the service had provided them with opportunities and alternatives. Parents were also asked to feedback.


In terms of the Action Plan and the 'buddy' system for individual practitioners and managers to be offered one to one support with a 'buddy', the committee enquired how far this had progressed. Members were advised that the YOT had already started to identify a buddying process for practitioners and managers and this process was now being embedded. The committee was informed that there had been staff vacancies that had impacted on caseloads. However there had now been appointments made to these vacancies and staff would be appointed buddies on commencement of employment.


It was noted that the National Youth Justice Board had this year launched new national standards that all youth offending teams had to work to and this put greater emphasis on Lancashire's Youth Offending Management Board to have more strategic governance overview.


The committee enquired about education and job prospects for young people in the service. It was noted that after the YOT's restructure in 2018, a Specialist Education and Employment Training Officer post was created. Also the YOT was able to accredit young people with an AQA. The AQA was an education charity that provided qualifications that enabled young people to progress to the next stage in their lives.


The question of how the participation strategy would fit into the YOT was raised.

Members were informed that the YOT had been given permission for two apprenticeship posts to lead in participation.


It was pointed out to the committee the number of first time offenders was reducing nationally and locally. This was down to diversions from putting young people through the criminal justice system. Since the restructure the YOT now had a prevention service and a diversion service and it was hoped this would reduce the number of young people that went through the courts.


Resolved: That;


  i.  The report be noted.

  ii.  A briefing note be provided to committee members in March 2020 on the post inspection action plan progress.


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