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Agenda Item No. 11

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection): 10th September, 2014

 

Report of the Director of Social Services

 

Youth Offending Service: End of Year Performance Report April 2013 - March 2014

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To inform Scrutiny Committee about the performance of the Youth Offending Service during the period April 2013-March 2014.

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 National and 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 March 2014 is attached at Appendix 1.  Performance reporting by the Youth Offending Service will always be approximately one quarter in arrears because of the need for data validation by the Youth Justice Board.

5.         Analysis of the performance data is included in the report.  The overall picture for the year demonstrates a continued reduction in first time entrants (WYJ1 1) during 2013/14 - down from 45 in 2012/13 to 36 last year.  As previously reported to Scrutiny Committee, all areas across South Wales are starting to see a levelling out of numbers.  In this context, it is pleasing to see a reduction again this year, especially as any increase or decrease when dealing with such low numbers can create large fluctuations in percentages.

6.         Re-offending (WYJI 2) continues to be priority for the YOS.  The information is obtained from the Police National Computer and it will always be approximately 18 months out of date.  There was an increase in re-offending for the period 1st July 2011 to 30 June 2012.  Again, this is in line with trends reported across South Wales Youth Offending Services and on an All Wales basis.

7.         Re-offending rates (WYJI 3) are inevitably linked to the risk of custodial sentencing.  The custodial rate (WYJI 4) for the end of year shows that 9 young people were sentenced to custody, which equates to 6% of the total number of young people supervised by the YOS.  Although this is reduction in the number of young people (from 10 in 2012/13), we appear to be an outlier when seen alongside comparable areas.  Work is currently being undertaken with Cardiff YOS and the Cardiff and Vale Magistrates Court to ensure that there is no inappropriate use of custody, as this should be seen as the sentence of "last resort".

8.         Engagement in education, training and employment has been identified as a priority area for the YOS Management Board this year, as not all the young people are receiving the statutory 25 hours of education.  Analysis of the figures for 2013/14 highlights the fact that 75% of the young people involved with the YOS who are of statutory school age attend alternative educational provision.  As this only provides a maximum of 15 hours per week, it adversely affects the performance of the YOS.  The figure can also be influenced 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 receive an appropriate response.

9.         In respect of access to suitable accommodation (WYJI 5), there are currently no concerns identified in relation to this measure.

10.      Finally, the figure for young people who can access appropriate support for substance misuse difficulties (WYJI 6) reflects the fact that young people who engage with the YOS have more complex needs and an increasing number of them need Tier 3 services (i.e. more specialist help).

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

11.      The performance reported in the attached report was achieved within allocated resources.  Scrutiny Committee will be aware that the funding arrangements for the Youth Offending Service are complex and dependent upon high levels of external grant funding, which is not guaranteed beyond the current year.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

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

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

13.      Under Section 41(5) of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, the Youth Justice Board has the authority to make grants to Youth Offending Services subject to a number of terms and conditions.  One of these is that the Youth Offending Service and its Management Board 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

14.      The work of the Youth Offending Service 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)

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

Corporate/Service Objectives

16.      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

17.      This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

18.      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

19.      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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