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Agenda Item No. 4

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection): 12th February, 2014

 

Report of the Director of Social Services

 

Youth Offending Service - Six Monthly Performance Report April 2013 - September 2013

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To inform Scrutiny Committee about the performance of the Youth Offending Service during the period April 2013 - September 2013.

Recommendation

1.         That Scrutiny Committee notes the content of the performance report.

Reason for the Recommendation

1.         To ensure that Elected Members are able to exercise effective oversight of the Youth Offending Service performance against the three National and the three devolved Performance Indicators.

Background

2.         As part of its grant funding terms and conditions, the Youth Offending Service (YOS) is required by the Youth Justice Board to undertake performance reporting in relation to a number of key performance indicators, three of which relate to England and Wales and three of which relate to Wales only.

3.         The performance indicators reported on a quarterly and annual basis are:

National Indicators

  • reduction in first time entrants 
  • reduction in re-offending
  • reduction in use of custody.

Devolved Welsh Indicators

  • engagement with education, training and employment
  • access to suitable accommodation
  • access to substance misuse services.

Relevant Issues and Options

4.         The performance report for April 2013 to September 2013 is attached at Appendix 1.  Performance reporting by the YOS will always be approximately one quarter behind because of the need for data validation by the Youth Justice Board.

5.         Analysis of the performance data is included in the report. Scrutiny Committee will note that there has been an increase in the number of young people entering the criminal justice system (WYJI 1) from 37 in 2011-12 to 45 in 2012 -13.  This increase follows a dramatic reduction from 154 in 2009-10 to 37 in 2011-12 (a 70% fall).  The recent increase reflects a trend throughout Wales, particularly evident in those areas like the Vale which had experienced steep dramatic reductions.

6.         There has been a decrease in the frequency rates of re-offending (WYJI 2) but a slight increase in the binary rate (the number of young person who offend).  Again, this is in line with trends reported across South Wales Youth Offending Services and on an All Wales basis.  Re-offending rates (WYJI 3) are inevitably linked to the risk of custodial sentencing.  Currently, the custodial rate (WYJI 4) at the 6 month reporting stage is exactly the same as the previous year at the same point, i.e. five young people sentenced to custody.  Unusually, two of the young people sentenced to custody during this period were female.

7.         More young people are engaged in education, training and employment but the improvement is slight increase and further work is needed because not all the young people are receiving the statutory 25 hours of education.  The figure can be affected also by young people re-offending, moving in and out of county, going to custody and a lack of educational placements post 16.   Performance will be monitored closely and any longer term trends will be responded to appropriately.

8.         A change in recording practice within the team halfway through 2012/13 has led to a slight decrease in the number of young people accessing suitable accommodation (WYJI 5).  Staff are now recording young people placed at home as being in unsuitable accommodation if there are known risk factors present.

9.         Finally, the figure for young people who access appropriate support for substance misuse difficulties (WYJI 6) demonstrates that, although all of them are seen and supported by the YOS, some do not engage with services and attend appointments made for them within the prescribed timescales.  Reasons for all the delays are recorded and monitored by the Team Manager.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

10.      The performance reported in the attached report was achieved within allocated resources.  Scrutiny Committee will be aware that the funding arrangements for the YOS are complex and dependent upon high levels of external grant funding, which is potentially at risk of reduction and cuts.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

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

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

12.      The Youth Justice Board under Section 41(5) of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 has the authority to make grants to Youth Offending Services subject to a number of terms and conditions.  One of these terms and conditions is that the Youth Offending Services and their Management Boards comply with the Youth Justice Board Data Recording Guidance for the specific year and provide performance information on a quarterly and annual basis to the Youth Justice Board.

Crime and Disorder Implications

13.      The work of the YOS assists in the reduction of crime and anti- social behaviour by children and young people across the Vale of Glamorgan.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

14.      There are no equality implications directly as a result of this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

15.      Corporate Plan 2013-17 outcome: "Residents and citizens of the Vale of Glamorgan feel safe and are safe within their community".

Policy Framework and Budget

16.      This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

17.      The provision of Youth Offending Services is a Vale wide responsibility and there are no specific implications for individual wards.  The YOS Management Board is aware of the performance figures.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

18.      Housing and Public Protection

Background Papers

None.

 

Contact Officer

Paula Barnett, YOS Manager

 

Officers Consulted

YOS Performance and Information Officer

Head of Children and Young People Services

 

Responsible Officer:

Philip Evans, Director of Social Services

 

 

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