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Agenda Item No 5

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection): 9th October, 2013

 

Report of the Director of Social Services

 

Youth Offending Service - Service Plan

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To inform Scrutiny Committee about the service plan for the Youth Offending Service (YOS), attached at Appendix 1.

Recommendation

1.             That the service plan be noted.

Reason for the Recommendation

1.             To meet the statutory requirements of grant terms and conditions provided by the Youth Justice Board (YJB) for England and Wales, to achieve continuing improvements in the performance of the YOS and to ensure that Members can exercise oversight of this key area of work for the Council.

Background

2.             The Crime and Disorder Act 1998, Section 39(1) places a duty on each Local Authority, acting with its statutory partners (Police, Probation and Health) to establish Youth Offending Teams in their local area to deliver youth justice services.   Section 38(3) of the Act provides a power to make payments towards expenditure incurred in the provision of Youth Services by making payments directly or contributing to a fund in relation to the provision of Youth Justice Services.

3.             Membership of the Youth Offending Team is prescribed by the legislation.  It must include at least one Probation Officer, Social Worker, Police Officer, Health representative and Education representative.  Attached as Appendix 2 is the current staff structure.

4.             The purpose of the YOS is to ensure that youth justice services are available across the local authority area, to the extent required.  The YOS should be the main vehicle through which youth justice services are coordinated and delivered.  The YOS Management Board, made up of senior representatives from each of the statutory partners, oversees the operation of the service (including the functions it undertakes and the funding arrangements).  It is currently chaired by the Director of Social Services.

5.             Section 40 of the 1998 Act also places a duty on the Local Authority to produce an annual Youth Justice Plan in consultation with its statutory partners.  The Youth Justice Plan confirms how youth justice services are to be provided and funded and how the teams are established, composed and funded, what functions they are to carry out and how they operate.  The Plan is submitted to the YJB and published in accordance with directions of the Secretary of State.  This duty is one of the requirements of the terms and conditions of the Youth Justice Grant.

Relevant Issues and Options

6.             The format of the YOS Service Plan is directed by the YJB.  It must address the following areas:-

  • structure and governance;
  • resources and value for money;
  • partnership arrangements; and
  • risks to future delivery.

7.             The Plan must also demonstrate how the activities being undertaken can be considered as developing good practice and achieving value for money.  It also includes performance information, which is validated quarterly and annually by the YJB.  Again, this is a requirement of the terms and conditions of the grant as it indicates compliance with the YJB Data Recording Guidance.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

8.             From a report presented in November 2012 (Appendix 4), the Committee will be aware that it is not possible to guarantee sufficient contributions to the YOS budget on a long-term basis because of our dependence on annual grants from various sources.  There is a "Costed Plan" attached at Appendix 3 which describes how the actions identified in the plan will be met within existing financial resources.  In addition, the service will continue to apply for grants to assist in achieving improved performance.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

9.             There are no sustainability or climate change implications as a result of this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

10.        The YOS is a statutory service as required by the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. It is a highly regulated, non-devolved service overseen by the Ministry of Justice via the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales.

Crime and Disorder Implications

11.        The work of the YOS assists in the reduction of crime by children and young people.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

12.        Actions to address equalities issues have been taken into account in drafting the Service Plan.

Corporate/Service Objectives

13.        The Corporate Plan commits the Council to working with partners to tackle anti-social behaviour through targeted interventions and promoting community safety. (CPS 6).

Policy Framework and Budget

14.        This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

15.        The YOS Management Board members agreed the Plan at their meeting in July 2013.

Relevant Scrutiny

16.        Housing and Public Protection.

Background Papers

17.        Youth Justice Board Good Practice Grant (Wales), Terms and Conditions of Youth Justice Good Practice Grant 2013 - 2014.  Annex A - Guidance Notes to Youth Offending Teams on Providing a "Costed Plan".

Contact Officer

Paula Barnett, YOS Manager

Officers Consulted

Members of the Youth Offending Service Management Board

Rachel Evans, Head of Children and Young People Services

Responsible Officer

Phillip Evans, Director of Social Services