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Inspectors herald colossal efforts of Youth Justice Service team

Inspectors have heralded the 'colossal efforts of staff and head of service' in St Helens Borough Council's Youth Justice Service.

OHF Assets

A new report following an inspection by the HM Inspectorate of Probation, which rates the service overall as Good, talks about how inspectors were 'impressed with the breadth and provision of partnership services, with children being able to access a range of interventions and support swiftly, alongside clear and specific pathways for universal, targeted, and specialist provision'. 

Inspectors singled out staff as the organisation's biggest asset, who are skilled and build positive relationships with the young people they work with to engage with then effectively. 

Two areas of work - court disposals and out of court disposals, which work with children who have been taken to court or those who could have been, but police decide to try an alternative route, were both judged to be outstanding. Out of the 13 areas inspected, eight were rated as outstanding.

The report noted the close working relationship between the youth justice service and the anti-social behaviour team, while providing a strong and varied prevention offer for children and families to reduce the risk of even an out of court disposal. 

Young people currently working with the service also voiced their praise for the team. 

Responses from current service users included: "They are always fair with appointments and would work with you to make sure you get the right session that will work the best for the individual. I think they are very good and should be highly looked at because they have helped me a lot in the past two years." 

While another young person said: "They have helped me by kind of making me understand life more and why it's not worth making bad choices." 

Councillor Nova Charlton, Cabinet Member for Children's Services, said: "The report makes clear that the staff who deliver our Youth Justice Services here in St Helens Borough are our biggest asset and the success of the service is down to their conscientious and committed work with young people in need of support. Their passion and dedication are clear too in the comments inspectors received from young people they are currently working with, and the records show that their work is turning lives around for many young people and having a positive impact on our communities. In particular inspectors found frontline work outstanding in all aspects of court disposals and out of court disposals which shows how amazing this team are. 

"The inspectors of course still found areas for improvement, and they noted our new action plan to tackle these areas had been implemented earlier this year which we hope will tackle those few areas that need extra work." 

You can read the report here: https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmiprobation/inspections/sthyos/