Agenda Item No. 5

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Homes and Safe Communities Scrutiny Committee: 13th June 2018

 

Report of the Director of Social Services

 

Youth Offending Service: 9 months Performance Report for the period April 2017 to December 2017

 

Purpose of the Report

  1. To inform Scrutiny Committee about the performance of the Youth Offending Service during the period April 2017 to December 2017.

Recommendation

That Scrutiny Committee notes the content of the performance report.

Reason for the Recommendation

To ensure that Elected Members are able to exercise effective oversight of the Youth Offending Service performance against designed indicators (UK, devolved and local).

Background

  1. As part of its grant funding terms and conditions, the Youth Offending Service (YOS) is required by the Youth Justice Board (YJB) to undertake performance reporting in relation to a number of key performance indicators.
  2. The performance indicators on which we report are:

National (England and Wales) 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.

Local Performance Indicators (agreed by the Vale YOS Management Board)

  • re-offending by young people in the Youth Justice System
  • re-offending by young people starting a Diversion Intervention
  • number of victims participating in Direct Restorative Justice (Statutory Orders and Diversion).
  1. Performance reporting by the Youth Offending Service is always approximately one quarter behind because of the need for the Youth Justice Board to validate data before circulation and so more up to date information is not included in this report.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. The performance report for April 2017 to December 2017 is attached at Appendix 1.  This includes some analysis of the performance data.
  2. Local performance measures have been included to provide a greater depth of understanding of performance in specific areas.
  3. Performance data for First Time Entrants to the Youth Justice system (WYJI 1) is for the 12 months from October 2016 - September 2017.  Performance reflects a 24.3% decrease when comparing figures to October 2015 - September 2016.  However it is worth noting that the figures provided by the YJB differ from our local Childview performance information.  Police National Computer (PNC) data is used by the YJB to inform this performance measure so the YOS is currently unable to verify the information as we do not have access to PNC data.  The YJB is reporting that 28 children/young people are within the cohort, but our own internal performance reporting shows 32 young people in our local cohort.  This remains a decrease from previous year, but at 13.5% rather than the 24.3% using PNC data.
  4. Reduction in re-offending (WYJI 2) continues to be a key priority for the YOS.  The information presented in Appendix 1 produced by the Youth Justice Board (YJB) shows an increase in the binary rate (number of young people reoffending) from 12 reoffenders from a cohort of 19; to 11 reoffenders from a cohort of 15 when comparing January - March 2015 against January - March 2016.  The frequency rate (the number of re-offences committed by young people who re-offend) of re-offending for the same period demonstrates an increase from 3.75 to 4.36.  These figures relate to the average number of re-offences committed by the number of children/young people who re-offended within the tracking period i.e, 11 young people re-offending committing 48 re-offences 48/11 = 4.36.
  5. It is important to note that the YJB performance data is always approximately 18 months behind.  The Ministry of Justice has changed the methodology for measuring reoffending.  There has been a move to a three month cohort rather than a 12 month cohort.  The cohort will still be tracked over 12 months.  Changing from annual cohorts to quarterly cohorts result in a greater proportion of prolific offenders and hence higher reoffending rates, although both measures show similar trends over time at a national level.
  6. Local performance information based on a cohort for the period 01 January 2017 - 31 March 2017, in relation to re-offending shows that both the number of young people offending and the number of re-offences has reduced; 6 of the 21 young people tracked have re-offended within 9 months committing a total of 29 offences.  This equates to a re-offending percentage of 28.5%.
  7. Appendix 1 contains additional information to provide an insight into the complex needs of young people within the Youth Justice System and the range of interventions provided by the YOS and its partners to try and address the underlying causes of offending.
  8. The YOS continues to have a low custodial rate (WYJI 3) during the first 9 months from April to December 2017, 3 custodial disposals were imposed due to the seriousness of the offence.  The offence was treated as joint enterprise, so all young people received a custodial sentence.  When comparing custodial disposals for 2016 the YOS had 1 disposal compared to 3 in 2015/16.  This demonstrates custody is used as a last resort.
  9. In respect of engagement in education, training and employment, (WYJI 4) this indicator has changed and now reflects the number of hours of education a young person has been offered, alongside the number of hours the young person attended the provision.  The information enables stakeholders to identify if performance is being affected by a lack of suitable provision or if there are attendance issues which need to be addressed. 
  10. Data provided by the YJB indicated that during the year to date, young people of statutory school age were offered an average 10 hours at the start of their intervention, 10 hours at review stage and ended on an average of 11.7 hours.  The average hours attended by young people was less at 8.3 hours at the start and 10 at the end.  Both the hours offered and attended are below the recommended 25 hours.
  11. Young people above statutory school age were also offered and attended less than the recommended 16 hours provision, with the average hours being attended at the start 10, at review 10.9 and 12.8 at the end.  Concerns have been raised that there has been no increase in the average number of hours for school age children since 2014/15.
  12. Further analysis by the YOS indicates that the number of children is low, some of these children have re-offended and are therefore included within the cohort more than once as subject to different interventions, whilst others have multiple complex issues and have exhausted a number of educational placements.
  13. Regarding access to suitable accommodation (WYJI 5), performance continues to be positive.  During the 9 month period, 16 young people had a closed community based penalty; all were in suitable accommodation at the start and end of their interventions.  2 young people ended a custodial sentence.  1 young person was reported as being in suitable accommodation at the start (50%), however at release and end points both young people were in suitable accommodation (100%).
  14. Performance in respect of access to appropriate support for substance misuse difficulties (WYJI 6) demonstrates the majority of young people referred continue to engage in assessment and treatment even if outside of the performance timeframes.
  15. Year to date, 15 young people were identified as requiring a substance misuse assessment, with 13 young people being referred.  Of these 13 young people, 9 received an assessment within 5 days from referral (69%).  12 young people were assessed as requiring a service with 11 of these receiving this within 10 days from assessment (92%).  Delays experienced in young people accessing assessment within 5 workings day are a result of waiting times for Tier 3 services.
  16. Access to mental health services, (WYJI 7) improvement in this area is a key strategic aim of the Welsh Government/YJB Children and Young People First Strategy.  The measure identifies if young people are appropriately screened within 28 working days of referral date and where appropriate, receive a mental health assessment within 28 working days of screening.  All young people identified as requiring an assessment and treatment received this within timescales.
  17. Victim Participation is a local measure.  The YOS has a duty to comply with the Victim's Code of Practice and to promote community confidence in the Criminal Justice System.  In order to demonstrate the work undertaken by the YOS in relation to restorative justice, a local performance measure was introduced based on the former YJB measure (no longer in use), i.e. engaging 28% of victims in direct restorative practices.  The Vale of Glamorgan YOS operates a restorative ethos and actively promotes restoratives practices.  Performance for the 9 months to date, demonstrates the YOS was meeting or exceeding this target for the first 6 months but saw a decline in quarter 3 due to staff absences.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. The performance reported was achieved within allocated resources.  Scrutiny Committee will be aware that it is not possible to guarantee sufficient contributions to the YOS budget long-term because of its reliance on contributions from partner organisations and annual grants from various sources.
  2. The YJB grant for 2018/19 was confirmed at the same level as 2017/2018 on the 03 May 2018.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

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

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. The Youth Justice Board under Section 41(5) (ha) 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 including conditions as to repayment.  The Board has a number of functions including the obtaining of information from relevant authorities for the purpose of monitoring the operation of the youth justice system and provision of services and to advise the relevant Government Minister on a number of matters.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. 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)

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

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. The work of the Youth Offending Service helps the Council to achieve Well-being Outcome 1 (An inclusive and safe Vale in the Corporate Plan 2016 - 2020) and specifically Objective 2: Providing decent homes and safe communities.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. The provision of Youth Offending Services is a Vale wide responsibility and there are no specific implications for individual wards. 

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. Homes and Safe Communities

Background Papers

None.

Contact Officer

Paula Barnett, YOS Manager

Officers Consulted

Head of Children and Young People Services

Responsible Officer:

Lance Carver, Director of Social Services