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Good progress for Youth Offending Service

Warwickshire’s Youth Offending Service is making good progress according to the latest report from Government inspectors.

The results of the fourth phase of inspections of Youth Offending Teams in England and Wales have been published today and assess the service against a number of key criteria.

Overall, inspectors found ‘much good work delivered by committed and well-managed staff’ and highlights the strengths of the Youth Offending Service’s work with the courts, parents/carers, and the outcomes of work with children and young people in the community.

Inspectors also found ‘excellent services were available to victims of youth crime’ through the multi-agency Victims and Witness Information Partnership; they noted that a ‘range of interventions are available, both for children and young people at risk of offending and those who have offended’; and highlighted the range of reparation projects available.

Areas for improvement include continued attention to work with young people following their release from custody; more focus on work to increase children and young people’s awareness of the impact of their offending on victims; and further training and development opportunities available to staff to ensure consistency in assessment and planning.

The Youth Offending Service has a clear action plan in place to help implement these recommendations.

Marion Davis, Strategic Director for Children, Young People and Families, said: “I am delighted with the good progress made by the Youth Offending Service and am particularly pleased that the hard work and dedication of our staff and partner agencies has been recognised.

“We will continue to build on our progress and further develop the Youth Offending Service to meet the needs of the future.”

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Children, Young People and Families, said: “The Youth Offending Service is working incredibly hard to ensure young people recognise the benefits of helping the community and keeping themselves out of trouble, and this is highlighted in the report."

Cllr Richard Hobbs, Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Protection, added: “Our commitment to community safety is reflected in the findings including our work with the courts and victims of youth crime and I am pleased with the progress being made.”

- Award winners -

The results of the report come just days after Warwickshire’s Youth Offending Service won two accolades at the national Communicating Youth Justice Awards.

The ceremony, organised by the Youth Justice Board, showcases some of the ‘most creative and exciting work done every day in the youth justice system’.

The Youth Offending Service was up against some tough competition for the ‘Best Promotional work’ award, but was given the prize for their ‘Actions Bring Consequences’ work books which are sent to schools to help with early intervention. Judges were so impressed by the entries this year that the trophy was awarded jointly with Birmingham’s Youth Offending Service.

In a double celebration, Warwickshire’s Youth Offending Service was also awarded runner up for ‘Best Media Coverage’, taking home a second cut-glass trophy.

Diane Johnson, Head of the Youth Offending Service, said: “These awards are a fantastic achievement which highlights the great work by the Youth Offending Service with Young People and the community.

“The inspection report is pleasing and reflects the significant progress made by our staff and partners in our work in the youth justice system.

“We look forward to building on these achievements and continuing to provide our services throughout Warwickshire.”

For further information about the Youth Offending Service, visit http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/yot.