Purpose: To provide an update on Youth Justice Service key performance data and development themes.
SteveWalker,Youth JusticeServicesPlanning& DevelopmentOfficer provided an overview of performance and drew attention to the key priorities within the new Strategic Plan for 2021-22 e.g.:
· Reducing number of first-time entrants – it was noted that the pace of reduction in North Yorkshire was slowing;
· Reducing Re-offending – it was noted that North Yorkshire was several percent above most other areas in regard to whether or not a child re-offended in the 12 months after the Service had worked with them, but the frequency of re-offending in North Yorkshire had continued to reduce since 2016/17;
· Reducing the number of children in custody – it was noted that North Yorkshire was comparing favourably with most other areas;
It was confirmed that as a result of the Youth Justice Service’s integration in to the Early Help Service, it had now significantly increased its leverage, providing opportunities to work with the broader Early Help Service to improve prevention and diversionary activities. It was noted that a key factor was reducing exclusions and keeping children in school, with a particular focus on Elective Home Education, which was sometimes used as a way of removing a problematic child from a school roll. It was also noted that 70% of young people in the system had an assessed speech, language and/or education impairment.
It was confirmed that the ‘My Assessment & Plan’ model had been positively reviewed, and fit well alongside the Children’s Services strength in relationships practice model. It was also noted that the feedback systems were working well, with a high rate of satisfaction from victims, families and children.
Attention was drawn to the recent national inspection findings which showed ‘Desistence’ as outstanding, ‘safety & wellbeing’ as good, but fell short of a good rating for ‘safety of others’. In response, it was confirmed that steps had subsequently been taken to modify the model and retrain the team.
Finally, attention was drawn to the key objectives for the coming year, as shown on page 29 of the new Plan.
It response to members’ questions, it was confirmed:
· The Service worked with schools on early prevention and diversion with a particular focus on inclusion for children from hard to reach families and those with high levels of social need;
· There was a huge gap in the provision of special centres from troubled youths nationally and North Yorkshire had a number of young people with extremely complex and challenging behaviours. There was also a national issue around the number of children who did not have a formal diagnosed mental health condition but were in such a vulnerable, distressed and chaotic state that they needed that level of care and support, with a huge gap in the provision of that;
· There was a loss of pastoral benefits for excluded children that came from learning to play and cooperate with others. Exclusion also prevented the observation in a normal classroom setting that was required for an EHCP;
Finally, concern was expressed about the situation in the Scarborough area where the rates of offending and re-offending were much higher than in other areas of the county. The proposed focussed partner review project was welcomed, but its potential to improve the situation in Scarborough was questioned. In response, it was acknowledged that by itself, it could not have a transformative impact, but it was a step in the right direction.
Members thanks the officer for the update and agreed to note the presentation.