Praise is heaped on youth offending team
THE city’s Youth Offending Service (YOS) is one of the best in the country according to a glowing inspection report.
Inspectors from the Criminal Justice Joint Inspection Team visited Peterborough City Council to compile its report.
The inspectors praised the department and found that it is performing above average in every area with only minimal changes needed to improve.
Andy Smith, assistant chief inspector for the Criminal Justice Joint Inspection Team, said: “We were impressed to find a YOS where the staff worked creatively and conscientiously, under the capable guidance of a small but strong management team to deliver a good range of quality interventions to children and young people.
“As a result, the children and young people’s risk of harm to others, likelihood of reoffending and vulnerability were effectively addressed.
“Overall, we consider this to be a very creditable set of findings.”
It came as a welcome change for councillor Sheila Scott, the council’s cabinet member for children’s services, who has come under fire in recent months for the department’s performance.
She said: “I am delighted with the results of this inspection which really highlight the great service which the Peterborough Youth Offending Service is providing to our young people in need of support.
“Across every section of the report, inspectors commented that minimum improvement is required which provides a real cause for celebration for the council and children’s services.
“Inspectors commented on the flair and innovation staff offer, along with a huge commitment to children. These comments are really encouraging and are a real credit to the Youth Offending Service, which deserves great praise for all its hard work.”
The inspectors visited in March looking at youth offending cases in the area. They judged how often the service works to a sufficiently high level of quality and returned a percentage mark.
This is used to judge whether the service is performing averagely, lower or better than average and in every area Peterborough was ranked higher than average.
For the category Likelihood of Reoffending, which looks at work done to reduce reoffending rates, the service was graded as meeting the level of quality in 86 per cent of cases observed. Nationally, the highest any other council has achieved is 87 per cent.
For the category Risk of Harm to Others, which looks at action taken to protect the public, the council’s YOS was graded as meeting the level of quality in 77 per cent of cases observed, while the national average is 62 per cent and the highest is 86 per cent.
Meanwhile the service was also rated for its Safeguarding work to protect young people and was graded as meeting the level of quality in 83 per cent of cases.
The highest nationally is 91 per cent and the average is 67 per cent.
As part of the inspection, ten children and young people completed a questionnaire returning positive reports of Peterborough’s YOS.
The young people said they felt staff listened to them and took action to deal with their problems.
All of the children and young people spoken to felt their lives had improved as a result of their work with the YOS.
All felt they were either “a bit or a lot less likely to reoffend as a result of the work done”.
One young person said: “Before I did not bother with education or anything, but now I am in college and doing very well.”
In every category the inspectorate provides advice for improvement ranked as either minimum, moderate, substantial or drastic. Every category in Peterborough was minimum.