Agenda item

YOUTH OFFENDING SERVICE UPDATE

Minutes:

The Committee received an update on the performance of the Bromley Youth Offending Service (YOS) and progress made since the recent inspection and as a result of other operational and strategic developments.

 

There were approximately 110 cases within the Youth Offending Service at the present time, 22% of which involved conditional cautions or triage.  The work within the Youth Offending Service was delivered by a team of senior officers and caseworkers, and was further supported by specialist colleagues including a part-time school nurse and those working in the areas of substance misuse, wellbeing and parenting consultation.  The current focus of the Youth Offending Service was on securing positive outcomes for young people that reduced levels of offending, the need for custody and the numbers entering the criminal justice system.  Bromley’s quarterly performance data for the October 2014 to September 2015 cohort showed a reduction of 7.6% in the rate of reoffending on the previous year, although the actual number of young people accessing the service had increased by five.

 

With regard to future service provision, the reviewed and updated Youth Offending Service Operational Improvement Plan was based around seven key priority areas comprising reducing reoffending, protecting the public, protecting the child or young person, ensuring that the sentence is served, governance and partnership arrangements and the effectiveness of YOS interventions and had been approved by the Youth Offending Service Governance Board on 11th October 2017.  Bromley Youth Offending Service had also been successful in a recent bid to NHS England to develop a Forensic Service Pilot Scheme in recognition of the high proportion of young people entering the youth justice system identified as having complex needs that required significant levels of specialist intervention and support.  The scheme would enable these young people to access specialist child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) as well as other wellbeing support services from across a range of agencies, and support would also be provided to their families and carers where appropriate. The Forensic Service Pilot Scheme would initially be funded for one year, but an application could be made for further funding if the scheme was successful.

 

In response to a question from the Chairman, the Head of Youth Support and Youth Offending Services confirmed that there was no CAMHS worker seconded to the team; however a Bromley Y worker was based in the team for two days a week and the Youth Offending Service was also able to refer young people directly to CAMHS where a need was identified.  The part-time school nurse worked one day a week and a bid was being developed to provide additional capacity. The Head of Youth Support and Youth Offending Services provided a case study example of a young person within the Youth Offending Service who required a range of support relating to their mental wellbeing, and noted that undiagnosed mental health or wellbeing issues could be a cause of challenging behaviour in some young people.

 

A Member queried how the Youth Offending Service delivered a key performance indicator to reduce the number of first time entrants to the youth justice system.  The Head of Youth Support and Youth Offending Services explained that young people who had committed low level offences could be referred to the Youth Offending Service for triage through which short term interventions were delivered in partnership with the police to divert young people away from offending and that the majority of young people referred to the Youth Offending Service for triage did not go on to reoffend.  The Chairman requested that further information on the number of young people referred for triage, including statistics in relation to whether they reoffended, be provided to Members following the meeting.

 

RESOLVED that the update be noted.

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