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Wiltshire’s youth justice service was rated as good following inspection

Wiltshire’s youth justice service has been given a good rating after inspectors found the service “puts children at the heart of its work” and staff and volunteers are “excellent ambassadors for the children they support”.

The Youth Justice Service (YJS) includes staff from various organizations including Wiltshire Council, Wiltshire Police and the Probation Service. Staff work with children who are involved in or at risk of offending behavior to prevent or change the behaviour.

The service also works with those affected by crime.

It is within Wiltshire Council’s Family and Children’s Services as part of the Youth Service, which brings together Emerald’s child exploitation/missing team, YJS and children on the fringes of the ‘stronger families’ care team, creating a service specialized for vulnerable people. children and young people.

Inspectors gave an overall good rating, with the exception of resettlement policy and provision. The placement service helps the child to form a more positive identity and build on individual strengths and resources to help them stay safe and live a crime-free life and reduce the likelihood of further offending.

Inspectors said: “Individualized interventions, supported by a trauma-informed approach, ensure that children’s diversity needs are well understood and steps are put in place to help them flourish.

Staff and volunteers are undoubtedly the organization’s most valuable assets. They are optimistic and cultivate a “can do” attitude with children. They are excellent ambassadors for the children they support.”

The inspectors also found:

  • The Youth Justice Service Executive Board is led by a passionate Chair with highly dedicated board members who work well to support YJS children within their own organisation.
  • The provision of services to support children is broad and a wide range of services are available for children.
  • Actively listening to the voices of children and their parents or carers is ‘impressive’
  • Children regularly attend the executive board to share first-hand their experiences.

Inspectors also made recommendations, including improving the quality of assessment and planning and effective management oversight.

Cllr Peter Hutton, portfolio holder for safeguarding, said: “This independent assessment of Good shows that we are getting it right for our children and young people.

I want to thank the dedicated staff and volunteers who bring this service to life and make a positive difference. Inspectors also noted that Wiltshire Council is the only local authority in the UK that currently has a fifth child protection category, ‘risk outside the home’.

This aligns with our council business plan which focuses on prevention to tackle these issues head on and we can see that providing early support makes a positive difference.

We are not complacent and will continue to work hard together to continue to improve so that children and young people, their families and those affected by crime are supported and able to make positive changes.”