Author Archive | Lyn

AYM statement on the National Probation Service funding of Yots

The AYM recognises and understands the need for greater consistency in the relationships between local youth offending team (YOT) partnerships and the National Probation Service
(NPS). The relationships were bound to have to change from those that were enjoyed with local Probation Trusts in the past, and we recognise that such change inevitably produces winners as well as losers.

However, the NPS has surprised and disappointed us by issuing the above document outlining its proposals for future funding of youth justice services without full consultation. NPS reached its decisions after a process which did not include formal negotiation with members of local youth offending team (YOT) partnerships. We were invited only to “reference groups”. The negotiating process, such as it was, for these changes in contributions consisted of two arms of the Ministry of Justice, NPS and the Youth Justice Board, taking decisions together. Again this appears to be a case of a central government department handing down the consequences of its own budget pressures to local services. Local partnerships will now have to endeavour to find the resource to make good the shortfall in NPS funding or else make further cuts to budgets.

We welcome some aspects of the contributions, namely the commitment to provide qualified Probation Officer to YOTs and the length of their secondments, being set at three years rather
than two. These commitments were in some doubt a few months ago. We also welcome the recognition from NPS that it needs to make a contribution to the overheads involved in running a YOT: office accommodation, managers’ salaries, contract costs for outsourced services, legal and financial services etc. although 5k per worker hardly covers these costs.

The decision provides a perverse incentive for partnerships which operate across local authority boundaries to split up; it gives licence to other YOT partners to reduce their own contributions to these costs, leaving the YOT partnership to be perceived as solely a local authority responsibility.

Chairs of YOT Management Board will be working with their partners, the local authority, health and police services to understand the implications for their YOTs of the unilateral decision by NPS. Coming as it does in the same week as the publication of Charlie Taylor interim findings from his review of the youth justice system, this decision suggests that NPS’ commitment to stemming the flow of young offenders into the adult criminal justice system is on the wane.

0

Liverpool Street Doctors win AYM’s John Hawkins Award

At the Youth Justice Convention in Leicester on 25/11/15 AYM Vice Chair Lesley Tregear announced the results of this years John Hawkins Award following judging by young people from last years winners the Skill Mill at Newcastle Yot.

The worthy winners were Liverpool Yot’s Street Doctors scheme and Hannah Doughty Head of Liverpool Yot plus representatives from the Street Doctors Project were present to receive the John Hawkins Award from Lesley Tregear along with a cheque for £500. The judges citation for the Street Doctors reads as follows

“The Street Doctors project is highly innovative in that it is provides young people with practical skills and knowledge to help keep themselves safe and potentially save lives. It also engages with interesting non-justice sector partners. The panel were acutely aware of the high profile knife crime events recently and felt that this project can be central to a strategy to reduce the harm being done. This project already runs in other YOTs following the Liverpool origin and we have Liverpool YOT to thank for this”

The runners up were Kingston & Richmond Yots Music project and Yot Manager Kathy Walker and several young people from the project stepped up on stage to receive their runners up certificate.

0

Sucessful joint AYM/NAYJ event in Liverpool

On the 14th of October the AYM jointly hosted ‘the costs of youth justice’ event with the National Association of Youth Justice (NAYJ) at Liverpool John Moores University. The event was a sell out with 120 delegates attending including a sizeable AYM contingent.

The event was opened by NAYJ Chair Pam Hibbert OBE who reminded the audience that the ultimate cost had recently been paid by Merseyside Police Officer Dave Phillips which meant keynote speaker Asst Chief Constable Ian Pilling could no longer address delegates so Temporary Asst Chief Constable Rob Carden had stepped in at short notice.

Temp ACC Carden told the audience that it is estimated that the costs to the Police of late intervention with young people was 1.8billion per annum and went onto say that the 36% of young people in the secure estate being Looked After Children was ‘deeply disturbing’.

Anne Longfield the Children’s Commissioner for England was the other keynote speaker. In a wide ranging speech she urged Yots to fully engage with the review of Youth Justice led by Charlie Taylor to put forward evidence of ‘what works’ to reinforce the point that the social costs of young people offending are paramount and prevention will produce cash savings in the long term.

In the afternoon delegates were able to choose from 12 workshops covering a wide range of topics before the event was closed by AYM Chair Gareth Jones.

0