Nottingham’s Youth Offending Team has been described as “high performing” by an independent inspector.
The comments were made following a recent visit by HM Inspectorate of Probation in June. Inspectors said case managers were enthusiastic and knowledgeable and used creative approaches to help build positive relationships, encourage the engagement of children and young people and their parents/carers, and enhance the positive impact of their work.
Staff were also praised for being committed to achieving the best outcomes for children and young people and they were able to demonstrate their understanding of effective practice. Inspectors said they saw some excellent work to keep children and young people safe.
Staff worked hard to understand why a child or young person had offended and what might help to reduce further offending. Inspectors also saw examples of good joint planning and liaison with the police to protect victims: to enforce a restraining order, to help monitor the behaviour in the community of a chaotic young person, and to make sure that appropriate action was taken in order to maximise positive outcomes following a further offence.
Councillor David Mellen, Portfolio Holder for Early Years and Early Intervention, said: “I’d like to congratulate the partners and staff of the Youth Offending Team for the many positive comments they received following their recent inspection. I am really pleased that this very hard-working team has been recognised. This is really good news for the young people, parents and carers who access this important service.
“Our Youth Offending Team works with some of the city’s most vulnerable and challenging young people so I am delighted that the inspectors have given the service such recognition for their dedication and hard work.”
The work of the Youth Offending Team has helped to bring about an overall reduction in youth crime. Latest figures show that from 2011 until 2015, the number of young people entering the criminal justice system has more than halved – from around 1,800 to 820. Reoffending rates by young people in Nottingham have from 31.8% in 2013/14 to 26.9% in 2014/15.
The team has also had a vital impact in reducing the number of young people in care who are convicted of offence. Whilst the number of children in care has remained constant, there has been an overall reduction in offending behaviour by looked after children. The Youth Offending Team has a dedicated Nottinghamshire Police officer who works with young people in care – the first dedicated role of its kind in the country and has been praised by Ofsted as a model for best practice.
The full report from HM Inspectorate of Probation can be read here.