Praise for Northumberland's service for young offenders

Northumberland County Council's Youth Offending Service.
Northumberland County Council's Youth Offending Service.
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Northumberland County Council’s Youth Offending Service (YOS) has been praised in a recent inspection by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation (HMIP).

The report, which was published last week, praised the service and described work being carried out with children and young people as exceptional. They found case managers to be skilled, knowledgeable and committed to helping children and young people to make positive changes in their lives.

The inspectors were impressed with engagement work carried out which focused on helping engagement in the community, with case managers having a sophisticated understanding of what could be done to reduce the likelihood of future offending. They described excellent engagement work being done with parents and carers.

The pre-sentence reports were also found to be of a consistently high standard, with case managers having a high understanding of the reasons why children and young people had offended. Children were actively involved in custodial sentence planning which was identified by HMIP as being done very well.

Some of the key strengths which were highlighted by Inspectors in the report as contributing to success were: The YOS had skilled and motivated staff, who did the right things, in the right way, at the right time; the YOS had developed creative and individual ways of engaging children and young people and parents/carers; transfer arrangements to adult probation services for young people who had reached 18 were timely and based on individual needs; the co-location of adolescent services with the YOS strengthened the effective case management approach.

Daljit Lally, Northumberland's deputy chief executive, said: "I am delighted with the results of the HMIP inspection and would like to say a huge thank-you to the team. It is testament to our staff who are all extremely motivated and committed to their work supporting young people."

Cabinet member for children's Services, Coun Robert Arckless, said: "I'm thrilled that the hard work of the YOS team has been recognised by HMIP in the recent inspection. They more than deserve the results for the outstanding work they do with young people across Northumberland. The team works extremely well with other agencies too, such as the police, performing exemplary work where needed to transition young offenders to the adult probation service. They put the needs of the young person first rather than simply the date they turn 18."