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Young offenders planning criticised

Youth offending teams often do not know what works and not enough attention is being given to the planning, delivery and evaluation of programmes that tackle offending behaviour, inspectors have said.

Many teams showed positive results but "managers and practitioners were unclear about how what they were doing was contributing to this progress", the report said.

"This begged the questions, what is it that was working, for whom and in what circumstances?"

Information was not examined in a systematic way, few interventions specified the target groups they were aimed at, and few were clear about the issues they would address, the inspectors found.

They called for youth offending teams to have "adequate information to support local decision-making on implementing, delivering and evaluating effective offending behaviour, health and education, training and employment interventions".

The programmes should also be evaluated, with the results being used to create improvements, the report said.

The inspectors also found that, "disappointingly, two-thirds of young people had missed offending behaviour sessions and only half had completed the interventions".

Julie Fox, assistant chief inspector of probation, said: "Although it was pleasing to note many examples of good practice, there were aspects that still required improvement by managers as well as by practitioners, and we have made recommendations accordingly."

Officials from HM Inspectorate of Probation, the Care Quality Commission, HM Inspectorate for Education and Training in Wales (Estyn), the Healthcare Inspectorate Wales and Ofsted, carried out the inspection in six locations in England and Wales.

They assessed the delivery of offending behaviour, health and education, training and employment interventions to young people who were subject to enhanced or intensive levels of supervision.


From Belfast Telegraph