Inspectors tells Calderdale Youth Justice Service (YJS) it requires improvement in latest report

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Calderdale Youth Justice Service (YJS) has received an overall rating of ‘Requires improvement’ following an inspection by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation.

The inspection report commended Calderdale YJS’ ‘improvement journey’, since their last inspection in 2015, and noted that a new leadership team had resulted in better organisation and motivated staff.

However, inspectors were disappointed in the quality of work with children who have served court sentences (court disposals) – notably how children are assessed and how the services they need are delivered.

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The inspection report recommends that better oversight of these key areas of work would lead to improvements – something which leaders acknowledged during the inspection.

Calderdale Youth Justice Service ‘Requires improvement’Calderdale Youth Justice Service ‘Requires improvement’
Calderdale Youth Justice Service ‘Requires improvement’

Chief Inspector of Probation Justin Russell said: “Though rated as ‘Requires improvement’, Calderdale YJS is certainly moving in the right direction and we were pleased with their progress.

"However, we want to see more children in full-time education, and better use of services like substance misuse programmes, to improve the lives of those under their supervision and for the benefit of the wider community.”

The report said that too many school-age children are not in full-time education, and substance misuse services are not meeting current needs.

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Resettlement services – vital for children who have been in custody – benefit from being part of the South and West Yorkshire Resettlement Consortium, sharing information, learning, and research.

The report made eight recommendations to further improve the work of Calderdale YJS and to assist in continuing the progress that has already been made.

Calderdale YJS works with children aged 10 to 17 and supervises children with complex needs and some in the care of Calderdale Council.

The Inspectorate uses a four-point scale: ‘Outstanding’, ‘Good’, ‘Requires improvement’ and ‘Inadequate’, rating specific aspects of each service and giving an overall rating.

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The inspection looked at standards of organisational delivery (leadership, staffing and facilities), their management of children serving court sentences (court disposals) and children serving cautions or community sentences (out-of-court disposals).

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