Click here to read the full letter.
Members will recall that we launched an online survey in December asking about current governance arrangement for local YOT partnerships. The survey will help shape our contribution to the YJB’s work to update its guidance, ‘Modern Youth Offending Partnerships’. We are grateful to the 48 colleagues who took the time to respond. We have posted the full results here with a summary of the key findings.
The AYM is both shocked and saddened to hear of the tragic death of a young person in Hillingdon YOT on Friday 8 November 2019. Our thoughts are with the victim’s family and for our colleagues in Hillingdon YOT, to whom we offer any support we can.
AYM members enjoyed an excellent autumn conference at the University of Derby on 16 October 2019. Many thanks to Unitas for hosting this event. More information on speakers and their talks can be found here. Twitter discussion can be found using #aymautumnconf
The AYM response to the Labour Party Policy review of the criminal justice system was submitted today (Friday 28 June 2019) and can be read here.
The Annual Conference and AGM on 5 June 2019 in Rugby proved to be another great success with speakers providing some really interesting information on peer reviews, sport in prisons, overuse of remands and approaches to serious violence. The AYM was also pleased to recognise the achievements of four more areas – Blackburn, Hackney, Kirklees and St Helens – in reaching the required standards for our Youth Justice SEND Quality Mark Award.
The Youth Justice SEND Quality Mark recognises good partnership work in local areas for the benefit of children with special educational needs. The standards for the award were developed with the support of the DfE and YJB and with input from academics and practitioners.
For information on how to gain this award follow this link.
In early June, AYM responded to the Public consultation on Mental Health Conditions and Disorders: Draft Legal Guidance. This is a new revised proposal of CPS guidance on prosecuting defendants with mental health issues. You can read the AYM response here.
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