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Inconsistencies in Youth Offending Services

Created on 09/02/2011 @ 16:34
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Youth Offending Services that provide support for young people who are at risk of, or have committed a crime have improved, but further work is needed to address inconsistencies.
The Joint review of Youth Offending Services, published today (8 February), presents findings from joint inspections between the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW), Estyn (Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education and Training in Wales) and Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) that took place from January through to July last year.
Betsan O’Connor, Joint Inspectorate Project Manager said, “Overall, Youth Offending Services in Wales have improved since they were last inspected between 2003 and 2008. Leaders and managers of these services have become more skilled at working together”.
“However, most of the services are still being delivered inconsistently with the result that too many young people experience difficulties in getting the support that they need at key points in their lives, such as moving to another local authority or changing schools.”
However, the report highlights that Youth Offending Services do not have effective systems in place to identify whether or not children and young people benefit from their services. This hinders their ability to improve. Inspectors recommend that the management boards develop more effective systems to monitor the outcomes for children and young people in respect of their health, education and wellbeing.
The report contains several case studies of where Youth Offending Services have had a positive impact. For example, inspectors found exceptional collaboration between partner agencies after a 17-year-old was released following a custodial sentence. His social worker,
Youth Offending Service case manager, Police, Probation and Prison services and the local authority housing representatives all ensured that there was an appropriate balance between protecting the public from the risks this young person posed, whilst promoting and safeguarding his welfare.
Inspectors have made a series of further recommendations which are outlined in the report to make sure that Youth Offending Services across Wales work together better to get a mutual understanding of each other’s work, and improve their efficiency by not duplicating the work that they do.
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