Hull Youth Justice Service (YJS) has received an overall rating of ‘Good’ following an inspection by HM Inspectorate of Probation.
Seven inspectors spent a week with the team and partners in Hull and found that the quality of work done with children sentenced through the courts, and those supported via out of court disposals, had three out of four ‘outstanding’ ratings.
The YJS works with children aged 10 to 18, supporting those who find themselves within the youth justice system, and working to divert and prevent children from entering the system in the first place.
Partnership work is reducing first-time entrants into the criminal justice system, as well as reducing re-offending, whilst ensuring access to education, training and employment for young people in Hull and providing support around emotional and mental health.
Councillor Shane McMurray, Portfolio Holder for children’s services said: “This is great news for the team and our city, a good service here means less young people reoffending and better chances that young offenders can become productive, healthy and more fulfilled citizens. The early intervention approach by the youth justice team is paying dividends and I’m extremely grateful for the hard work the staff have put in, not just for this inspection but for the young people they serve. Helping these often troubled young people will mean less crime, less suffering and less victims.”
Chief Inspector of Probation Justin Russell said: “Hull YJS have achieved a great deal over the recent past and their success in improving the service was evident throughout the inspection. Specific areas of their work received an ‘Outstanding’ rating, such as their management with children on a court order. Though we have made recommendations for further improvements, they have much to be proud of.”
The HYJ team have specialist facilities available for the team and partners to support and work with children and young people and these were highlighted by inspectors as ‘outstanding’. The Kastor Centre on Beverley Road was highlighted as a multi-agency delivery centre, an ‘excellent facility that enables children who will not always access mainstream provision to have their own centre that they can use at their own convenience’. They can access showers and clothes washing facilities, computers and phones, and there is a kitchen for teaching life skills. A range of partner agency staff use the centres throughout the week, including the youth employment initiative team, substance misuse services and a resident artist who leads weekly sessions.
Chief Inspector of Probation Justin Russell continued: “The facilities available to children under Hull YJS supervision are outstanding. Staff take a caring and pragmatic approach and ensure there are opportunities for children to improve, learn and reduce the chances of them reoffending.”
The service runs a Diversion Panel which represents the victim’s views to measures how safe they feel at different stages of their involvement with the service. The use of mediation, restorative approaches and family group conferencing alongside individualised work with victims was praised by inspectors.
The report stated that the team and partners are doing very effective work to keep children who have committed mostly low-level offences out of the formal criminal justice system – outstanding in most areas. Planning and delivery of services to support children and young people and how case managers support young people was also classed as outstanding and took account of the child’s strengths and protective factors, helping children abstain and change their behaviours towards offending, taking into account the child’s social context.
Inspectors praised the teams focus on developing and maintaining good working relationships with children and families. The involvement of a range of key local partners was praised in the coordinated approach to supporting children.
Pauline Turner, Chair of Hull Youth Justice Management Board and Director of Children’s Services said: “I am immensely proud of the Hull Youth Justice Team and our partners for achieving such a superb outcome from our recent Inspection. It is testament to the hard work, engagement skills and expertise of the staff team and managers that we were so highly praised by the inspectorate regarding our work with some of the most challenging and vulnerable children in Hull.
“It is clear we have a service which works hard to help them improve their life chances through positive partnerships across the city. I know that myself and the board members are fully committed to progressing our good work even further.’
The partnership is made up of Hull City Council, Humberside Police, Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, National Probation Service, Humberside Fire and Rescue Service, Hull Clinical Commissioning Group and the Voluntary and Community Sector.