West Sussex Youth Offending Service has ‘good practice’

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GOVERNMENT inspectors have given the West Sussex Youth Offending Service (YOS) an “encouraging” rating just two years after it was put into special measures.

YOS is a partnership between West Sussex County Council Children’s Services, Sussex Police, NHS West Sussex and the National Offender Management Service (Sussex).

HM inspector of prisons and probation looked at three key areas of the service’s work: protecting the young person, action to protect the public and action to prevent re-offending.

In each area moderate improvement was needed.

The inspection report said: “Overall, we consider this an encouraging set of findings.

“Although practice was variable across West Sussex, we found some good practice in all the teams whose work we inspected.

“The challenge now is to ensure that this good practice is built upon and disseminated within the Youth Offending Service as a whole.”

Ninety-four per cent of victims surveyed as part of the inspection said their needs had been taken into account.

Peter Evans, West Sussex County Council member for children and families, said: “Going from special measures to an ‘encouraging’ rating, and showing it is on par with the rest of the country, in such a short time is an achievement our YOS can be proud of.

“The result of this inspection will, I am sure, reassure communities throughout our county about the value and effectiveness of the wide-ranging initiatives our YOS is pursuing to prevent re-offending by young people aged between 10 and 18.”