Agenda item

Youth Justice Service and Operational Plan



Councillor Jon-Paul Blundell – Cabinet Member Education


Lindsay Harvey - Corporate Director – Education and Family Support

Nicola Echanis - Head of Education and Family Support

Mark Lewis – Group Manager, Family Support

Christa Bonham-Griffiths –Youth Justice Service Manager

Owen Shepherd – Youth Support Services Manger

Kevin Reeves – Operational Manager, Youth Justice Services

Catherine Evans – Operational Manager, Youth Justice Services  





The Strategic Youth Justice Service Manager presented the report, the purpose of which was to update the Committee on the progress made regarding the combined recommendations, actions and developments outlined in its Youth Justice Plan for 2022-2023 and the priorities identified in the current Bridgend Youth Justice Service (BYJS) Youth Justice Annual Plan for 2023-2024.


The Chairperson thanked the Strategic Youth Justice Service Manager and Invitees and Members discussed the following:


·       Detail in the report relating to the improvements of mental health links and the data that had been assessed, including:

-        Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services had representation on the Management Board.

-        Issues with referrals being resolved and cases being closed.

-        The Operational Problem-Solving Manager in place.

-        A more easily accessible single point of entry to access provision.

-        The Operational Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) Consultant post due to be filled that would work directly with the Youth Justice Service. 

·       Assurances regarding the significant improvements made since the Recommendations made in the Inspection report of February 2022.

·       The breakdowns of financial and staffing information relating to Bridgend Youth Justice Service (BYJS), provision from multi agency partners’ budgets and financial obligations for partners with a statutory responsibility to deliver the plan

·       Representation on the Youth Justice Service Board from the Police, Education, Probation, Health and Children’s Social Care, as a legal obligation under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, and specifically, the demand on the service requiring increased support from probation.

·       The My Voice questionnaire statistics in particular the 64% of the 25 pupils who attended school, that were not enjoying it and that it would have been good to hear from school’s perspectives regarding how they were supporting those individuals.

·       Issues around recruitment across the County and the small pool of professionals for some roles which could be causing time delays and difficulties in terms of recruitment and assurance there was a dedicated team to ensure that there was a swift response to children in terms of assessment and planning, as well as the use of the wider service.

·       The introduction of the trauma screening tool for every child entering the service, the screening to be achieved, how it is reviewed and the resource to review the processes.

·       The existing national Key Performance Indicators and the additional ones set in April 2023 and the lack of measures or targets against them, how going forward the data and information is monitored to ensure the Youth Justice Service was performing.

The Chairperson advised that there were no further questions for the Invitees, thanked the Invitees for their attendance and, advised that they may leave the meeting.


RESOLVED:            Following detailed consideration and discussions with Cabinet Members and Officers, the Committee made the following Recommendations:


  1. That narrative be included in future reports to Scrutiny explaining why the budget table with a breakdown of the financial and staffing information in the Youth Justice Service Plan did not show financial support from the Probation and / or Health Services.


2.     That the Committee write a letter to the Probation Service highlighting the increased demand on the Youth Justice Service (YJS) and requesting greater support given the statutory duty on the YJS to have a minimum of representatives from Police, Education, Probation, Health, and Children’s Social Care.


3.     That there be more engagement and liaising between schools and the Police and with a focus on prevention.


4.     That a young person aged 18 plus but under 25 who has gone through the YJS be invited to sit on the BYJS Management Board to provide their insight on their experience of the YJS and possible improvements.


5.     Given that there were recruitment issues across the whole of the organisation but recognised that there was a need to have adequate specialist staffing to conduct some of the trauma screening and strongly recommended they look to establish if what they currently had was sufficient, so they were going to be able to reach their performance targets and ensure young people are safeguarded.  


The Committee requested:


6.     A link to the Joint Inspection responses made by Care Inspectorate Wales.


7.     More information regarding the reasons why 45% of children were not attending school referenced as reported from the My Voice questionnaires.


8.     Data regarding the national Key Performance Indicators to be circulated to members to see the aspirations for each part of the service, and for measurement and performance monitoring of the Youth Justice Service.


More data on how many trauma screenings using the Trauma Recovery Model were outstanding, how often they would be reviewed and how the service would manage the staffing resource to achieve it.

Supporting documents: