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Youth Offending ASB (Hu2)

Cuts

Portfolio: Children and Young People Portfolio

Description

YOS

The Youth Offending Team’s budget is made up of a mixture of grant funding, Council budget and contributions from a number of income streams as well as in kind contributions from partner agencies: police/PCC/probation. The ability to deliver a range of services that are non-statutory is very likely to have an impact on the levels of criminality that lead to statutory involvement by the criminal justice system including the YOS. There is also likely impact on other council and partner services as criminal behaviour and anti-social behaviour may increase throughout the Borough. DBC funding via public health (£20k), DBC education (£27k), ETE (£16) will cease.

Partner agencies have yet to indicate what their future contributions to the YOS will be. The continuation of the current level of the YJB grant and likely cuts to the probation service contribution are a significant risk.

The current model that has been developed  in Darlington has:

  • focused on preventative interventions that lessen the requirement for statutory orders and has been very successful
  • the focus will be on three national priorities of reducing  first time entrants, reducing the use of custody and reduction in re-offending in the new model

Non-statutory work that will no longer be covered:

  • restorative disposals such as mediation between victim and offender would be reduced. The success of such schemes in terms of re-directing young people from criminal behaviour and providing the victim with closure is well documented.
  • early intervention work in children’s homes and with the area social work teams will be reduced as the focus will be on statutory orders. The delivery and subsequent support on Restorative Approaches will be reduce
  • caseloads of YOS officers may increase lessening the ability to work intensively with young people subject to statutory or non-statutory interventions.

Any dips in performance could trigger HMIP inspection. A recent YJB report has highlighted concerns in the reduction of staff and management capacity to maintain levels of performance. Activity will be prioritised on meeting targets set in the annual YOS plan that are a condition of receipt of the YJB grant.

Risks

  • a reduction in pre-court activity would lead to young people entering the criminal justice system at a higher threshold and receiving criminal convictions that might otherwise have been avoided
  • the cost to the Local Authority of increased use of custody could be significant

ASB

Given uncertainty over the future funding from the YJB and partner agencies to the YOS sourcing additional resources for ASB is unlikely.  It is proposed that delivering the LA statutory duty to provide a response to ASB is delivered in future with partners through the YOS  An ASB officer is currently assigned to work closely on the preventative agenda with each of the Area Teams.  Reduced ASB capacity will reduce the capacity to have this level of dedicated alignment with the locality teams.

Under the Crime and Disorder Act there has to be a response to reports of ASB. There is no prescribed way to deliver this but police resources are unlikely to bridge the gap. The ASB team is closely aligned with the YOS. Each locality team is aligned with an ASB officer currently working closely on the preventative agenda. Reduced ASB capacity will reduce the capacity to have this level of dedicated alignment with the locality teams.

Under the ASB & Crime & Policing Act 2014 there must be a response to Community Triggers (made by members of the public). There has to be a co-ordinated multi agency response. Without a dedicated ASB team the investigation of these issues would have an impact on the YOS depending on the ability of partner agencies to respond.

Community remedies – police refer low level crime/ASB for low level/preventative type interventions.

Impact of reduced service: an increase in ASB activity with reduced means of addressing statutory responsibilities. An increase in statutory cases for YOS and  in cases going through to CAP/MASH in crisis as issues that may have been addressed deteriorate and are escalated.

Caseloads of YOS/ASB

The caseloads of YOS officers are currently around 22.  They may increase should a rise in ASB/offending result from removal of early intervention services.

Link 

Hu2 Youth Offending ASB

Related FAQs

What happened to the money from the sale of Feethams site where cinema is being built?

What happened to the money from the sale of Feethams site where cinema is being built?

The land was part owned by the Homes and Communities Agency and as part of the HCA contractual obligations the money from the sale of the site is to be reinvested in improvements to Feethams Riverside area.

The Council’s Children’s Services has already failed an Ofsted report – won’t cutting the budget make things worse?

The Council’s Children’s Services has already failed an Ofsted report – won’t cutting the budget make things worse?

We are spreading reductions over time to work with partners on new services. We now have an improvement plan in place to tackle the problems highlighted by Oftsed, which is getting us back on track, and ensures that all our services contribute to giving all children and young people in Darlington the best start in life.
Our proposals aim to develop a new service that combines early help with other support, which will include Children’s Centre delivery, early help and Troubled Families. Working with partners we are changing our approach, building on what works to target support at those children and families in greatest need. We are also strengthening our area social work teams and management in response to the Ofsted improvement plan. 

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