Press release

New guidance issued to ensure youth offending teams remain effective

New statutory guidance has been issued to youth offending teams (YOT) and local partners in England to ensure youth justice services remain effective in a changing landscape.

Modern Youth Offending Partnerships, published today, recognises the many significant reforms both nationally and locally, which have affected YOTs and statutory partners.

Recent changes include, the introduction of police and crime commissioners, the new health commissioning structures and initiatives such as ‘Troubled Families’.

The new guidance, replaces ‘Sustaining the Success’ published in 2004, and reaffirms the responsibilities YOTs, local authorities and statutory partners, including health, police and probation services, have within the youth justice system, while also recognising that local arrangements will vary to meet local circumstances.

Justice Minister Jeremy Wright said:

The local and national youth justice landscape within which youth justice services are delivered has changed significantly since the first multi-agency YOTs were established. We now have increased co-ordination between YOTs and children’s services, new youth sentencing provisions resulting in changes to how YOTs deal with young people who have offended, and more opportunity for YOTs to be innovative at a local level.

Nevertheless, the primary duty of local authorities, together with statutory partners in health, police and probation - to oversee and co-ordinate the provision of youth justice services locally and to ensure that the actions outlined in annual youth justice plans are carried out effectively – remains the same.

The time is right, therefore, to refresh and reissue guidance to statutory partners to help them, their YOTs and the young people and victims they work with.

It’s a timely reminder that although much has changed, the principal aim of all youth justice services remains the same: that of preventing offending by children and young people.’

Youth Justice Board for England and Wales (YJB) Chief Executive Lin Hinnigan said:

Following a period of major change, which has significantly impacted on youth justice and children’s services, it was essential we updated the existing guidance.

In so doing we actively sought the views of YOTs, along with numerous other stakeholders and welcomed the many constructive and detailed responses.

‘Modern Youth Offending Partnerships’ reaffirms the original principles of YOTs and local partnerships and their role within the youth justice system, while at the same time providing support and advice in adapting to the changing landscape.

Furthermore, the guidance, reflects the considerable learning, which has taken place since youth offending teams were established, more than a decade ago, and provides a range of practice examples that illustrate how services continue to innovate and adapt.’

Notes to editors

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