Independent Evaluation of Youth Justice Peer Reviews

At the request of the Programme Board for Youth Justice Sector-led Improvement, Dr Kerry Baker and Dr Christine Magill have undertaken an independent review of the peer-review process and their report is now available to download

The key findings from their review are:

·         Youth Justice Peer Review (YJPR) is viewed positively by those who have experienced it.

·         YJPR shares many of the features of similar effective peer review processes in other sectors.

·         The current arrangements between YJB and the sector are working well, and the role of the YJPR Facilitator is key to this.

·         In most cases, respondents agreed that the Peer Review Teams had achieved an appropriate balance between being rigorous and challenging whilst also being informal and supportive (i.e. they were successful in the role of ‘critical friend’).

·         The skills and experience of the YJPR teams were valued by host YOTs. 

·         The Framework Guidance and the training for reviewers were well received and seen as useful.

·         The ‘non-shaming’ approach of YJPR creates a receptiveness to feedback and enables an open discussion of strengths and challenges.

·         All the participating YOTs identified specific ways in which YJPR had made an impact on their governance, organisation, practice or morale.

·         There is, however, more to be done to foster engagement from the wider youth justice sector and a need to communicate the value of YJPR more effectively.

·         There is potential to better capture and share good practice flowing from the Peer Reviews.

·         The benefits YJPR offers to Peer Reviewers are a significant strength of the process.

·         Continuation and development of YJPR requires appropriate resources, particularly to support the critical role of a central coordinator.

The Evaluation made a number of helpful recommendations for improving the process further, and the Sector-Led Improvement Partnership Programme Board is confirming  an action plan to follow up the recommendations.

Managers/ heads of service wishing to find enquire about a Peer Review for their service, or interested in becoming part of a  review team should contact us using the contact form and we will put you in touch with the  co-chairs of the programme board

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