Birmingham Juvenile Delinquency Service ‘requires improvement’

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Inspectors have rated the Birmingham Juvenile Offender Service (YOS) as ‘requires improvement’

Inspectors have rated the Birmingham Youth Offender Service (YOS) as “requires improvement” amid staffing challenges and some difficulties in meeting the needs of children.

The service supervises children between the ages of 10 and 17 within the justice system.

Inspectors found that “significant” work had been done since its previous review in 2020.

The YOS said the inspectors had recognized its “commitment” to progress.

In total, however, the inspectors made 11 recommendations for improvement and discovered several problems.

Among them were problems meeting the diversity needs of staff and children alike.

Birmingham YOS, operated by the Birmingham Children’s Trust on behalf of the city council, faced “additional, and often unique challenges, as the largest juvenile justice service in England and Wales”, admitted Probation Chief Inspector Justin Russell.

The latest report, published on Tuesday, said work had been done to improve the management of the service and to meet the needs of children, but added there were challenges in recruiting and the workload of staff.

The quality of work with children, he said, needed to be further developed, and the report highlighted a decline in the quality of court case delivery.

“(YOS has) improved and we believe that such efforts, given the circumstances, should not be underestimated,” they concluded.

Inspectors examined the standards of organizational handover, resettlement work, and management of children serving court or community sentences.

The inspection made 11 recommendations, including how partnership services could best respond to risks and safety concerns for each child.

The inspectors also highlighted that the YOS needed to more “consistently” meet the diversity needs of children and staff, adding that this was “especially important” given that Black, Asian and minority ethnic children made up two-thirds of the cases.

A spokesman for the Birmingham Children’s Trust said the inspection had recognized the “considerable work” and “commitment” that had been made to improve standards.

“We are determined to continue to transform and modernize the service as we want to provide the best services to our children, families, victims and communities.”

They added that there would be a “comprehensive review” of the service’s development plans in light of the findings.

The trust’s chief executive, Andy Couldrick, said the report acknowledges that progress has been made, adding that he is “confident” further improvements can be made.


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