Issue - meetings
Overview of Youth Justice Service
(a) That the Committee express support for the positive work undertaken by the Youth Justice Service and its impact on children and young people; and
(b) That the Committee sends a letter to the Youth Justice Board to deplore the late confirmation of the annual funding for the Youth Justice Services in Flintshire.
The Chief Officer introduced James Warr, Operations Manager, Youth Justice Service (YJS) which sat within the Integrated Youth Provision. This report provided an overview of the statutory responsibility of this service which was very important but also had a number challenges.
The Operations Manager provided an overview of the work of the YJS which was a small service within the portfolio. All Local Authorities were required to have a YJS which would vary depend on the population and needs of that organisation. The service had a wide remit which had shifted and changed over the years. Originally the work was centred around court work and court orders but this had changed and was now focused on prevention and early help offer to identify and tackle issues early within our communities.
The Operations Manager then provided information on the statutory Governance through the Crime & Disorder Act and an Executive Management Board which was chaired by the Chief Executive with the service Chief Officer as Deputy Chair. The service worked closely with their partners which now included more organisations. The service was required to provide a Youth Justice Plan which was revised annually. The service was inspected by HM Inspectorate for Probation and had received very favourable inspections in the past. He explained the upcoming inspection, service priorities and the impact of criminal exploitation such as county lines and child exploitation.
The service also provided support to colleagues in education to reduce the number of exclusions and was developing programmes to divert these pupils from longer term exclusions and provide interventions to minimise the risk of criminal exploitation.
The challenge was working with reduced resources and still providing a service to the community. There were risks and challenges for the service with uncertainty of funding from the Youth Justice Board: it arrived late, in June or July which impacted the service greatly and militated against effective planning.
Councillor Dave Mackie remembered being very impressed by this service when he was first elected. He said that the late funding issue was not acceptable. He suggested inviting the Youth Justice Board to attend Committee to explain this. He was also concerned at the local Analysis from January to June 2019 which said that 27% of children not accessing 25 hours in school and was concerned that this was a very high percentage.
The Operations Manager explained the local analysis was for the 66 young people and that the size of the cohort was split with young people who should be receiving statutory education and post 16 young people. At any one time that could mean eight young people who did not receive that education. It was not that this was not offered and went on to explain the challenges with parents, roles of schools and other challenges. Recognition of the wider issues such as modern day slavery and county lines was also included in this.
As regards the funding question this was something that the Chief Executive and the Management Board had highlighted year ... view the full minutes text for item 31