Staff in our Youth Justice Service have plenty to smile about following their recent inspection by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation (HMIP)

Cllr Andrew Atkinson, Lead Member Youth Service and Anti poverty, said: “We are committed to providing the very best service to all our young people and this report is very encouraging and everyone should be very proud of the service they are providing. I am confident staff will now take all the necessary steps to improve the service even further.

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You can read what HMIP had to say about the service below:

“Wrexham YJS – A good service with the potential to become outstanding”

Wrexham Youth Justice Service (YJS) in North Wales was found by inspectors to be good overall, with many impressive areas of practice and “high aspirations” for children and young people.

‘Good’ is the second highest HM Inspectorate of Probation rating. Dame Glenys Stacey, HM Chief Inspector of Probation, said: “Many aspects of its work are impressive, and, with a little further development, this service can aspire to achieve a higher rating in the future.”

There was a strong leadership team. “Professional relationships are also strong and the YJS is well supported by key partner agencies. Staff are committed and enthusiastic. They know their young people well and are creative in responding to their needs. They do not see the social and economic deprivation in parts of the area as a barrier to their young people succeeding in their goals.”

The report noted: “Case managers are committed to building positive working relationships and tenacious in their approach to engaging young people. Staff knew their young people well and demonstrated a genuine belief that they could lead law-abiding lives.” Inspectors identified a ‘review and congratulate’ panel as good practice. The panel can formally recognise and provide feedback to the young person and their family on the progress they have made.

The YJS’s work with children and young people given orders by courts was mostly ‘Outstanding’, the highest HMI Probation rating.

The quality of out-of-court work was rated less well. However, inspectors’ concerns here focused on an assessment tool used by the YJS that had restricted the amount of information gathered about the individual. A recent change to a new version of this assessment tool meant, the report noted, more space for safety and wellbeing and risk of harm to others issues to be recorded.”

Aside from the assessment tool, Dame Glenys said, “There is a strong out-of-court process, which offers suitable prevention work for cases that do not meet the threshold for a more formal outcome. This includes a prevention and support service for young people involved in anti-social behaviour and those who had received a community resolution.

“With small adjustments to the assessment tool, the scores for this aspect of work could improve considerably.” The YJS was also recommended to ensure assessments were completed on time.

Overall, Dame Glenys said: “Wrexham YJS should reflect on and celebrate its strengths, while acknowledging there is still work to do to build on the improvements it has made already.”

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