YJB responds to independent report into children and young people who sexually offend

Friday, 8 February 2013

The Youth Justice Board welcomes the HM Inspectorate of Probation report of a joint inspection into children and young people who sexually offend.

The report found that once children had been picked up by the justice system, their chances for rehabilitation improved because they benefited from the “child-focused” approach of youth offending team (YOT) workers.

However, the report also found that interventions could have taken place earlier and that cases were slow to get to court.

Frances Done, Chair of the Youth Justice Board, said:

"We welcome this report, which has highlighted examples of good practice, along with many areas of improvement for how local agencies respond to and engage with young people who sexually offend.

"The findings show that once young people started working with YOTs on an individual programme they benefited hugely, and any chance of reoffending was significantly reduced, and we need to build on this.

"In addition we have commissioned the Lucy Faithfull Foundation to work with young people in custody, which is helping to further reduce the chance of repeat offending and provide better outcomes for young people, once they are released back into the community.

"Clearly it is imperative that every chance is taken to engage with a young person, who either demonstrates inappropriate sexual behaviour or commits a sexual offence, at the earliest opportunity in order to reduce offending and any potential victims.

"To build on the report’s findings, we will be encouraging youth offending services to review local practice against the report’s recommendations and work with Local Safeguarding Children’s Boards (LSCBs) to develop a wide and constructive response.

"Furthermore we have recently revised our safeguarding and public protection guidance, which will help ensure LSCBs have greater oversight of those cases where a young person commits a serious sexual offence and apply any lessons learned."

Please read the HM Inspectorate of Probation report: Examining Multi-Agency Responses to Children and Young People who Sexually Offend.

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