Sefton Council’s team for tackling youth crime has demonstrated that they are committed to delivering high-quality services and are putting in place more robust systems to support this ambition.
During a routine inspection of Sefton Youth Offending Team (YOT) in February, the HM Inspectorate of Probation rated the local authority as being ‘Requires improvement’, recognising that Sefton YOT has areas of strength, including a skilled and dedicated workforce supporting young people to turn away from crime.
They acknowledged that the workforce wants the best for those they work with and that the YOT makes effective use of local resources to meet the needs of children and young people and their families.
The YOT were highlighted for being at the forefront of positive training initiative including on topics such as desistance, AssetPlus and child exploitation.
Inspectors recognised that the Council is going through a period of reorganisation, which will affect many services including the YOT, and are recommending that YOT needs to gain a deeper understanding of the children and young people that it works with.
Sefton’s YOT has already developed an improvement plan and will look at ways to address the key recommendations highlighted during the routine inspection.
They will be putting in place a number of actions that will focus on opportunities to prevent children and young people coming to the attention of the YOT in the first place through the early intervention and prevention agenda.
Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton’s Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “We recognise that we have areas that we need to focus on but, despite reducing funding from Government, we have some real key strengths which we’re going to build on to ensure that we can make improvements and deliver a more effective youth offending service.
“We have a committed workforce that wants to do the best for our children across the borough, and we believe that by focusing our efforts on offering the right support, in the right ways and at an earlier stage will help deter young people coming into the system.
“Our early intervention and prevention model is new and still bedding in but we believe that we have the building blocks in place to develop a better approach that will help us improve positive outcomes and life chances for our young people communities.
“We will now work with partners to fully address the findings of this report, building on our areas of good practice whilst focusing on the key areas for improvement.”
The full report is available at www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmiprobation.