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  • Writer's pictureClare Jerrom

Serious youth violence to be focus of inspections

Youth offending teams, children's social care, police, health and education services will be inspected on how they work collaboratively to tackle serious youth violence.

Joint targeted area inspections (JTAIs), carried out by Ofsted, the Care Commission, His Majesty's Inspectorate of Probation and His Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary, Fire and Rescue Services, will focus on how local areas work together to address and prevent serious youth violence.

Yvette Stanley, Ofsted’s National Director for Social Care, said: “Serious youth violence has a devastating impact on the lives of children, families and communities. The causes are complex and the JTAI framework is well placed to evaluate how different local agencies work together to tackle this critical issue.

“The response to serious youth violence is a developing area of multi-agency work and these inspections will explore the approaches local partnerships are taking. We want to identify practice that is making a real difference to children, and aspects of multi-agency work that need to improve, so that we can share this learning widely," added Ms Stanley.

JTAIs jointly assess how local services are working together in an area to identify, support and protect vulnerable children and young people. The theme for the JTAIs, starting in September, is serious youth violence.

The inspectorates will consider interventions with individual and groups of children to see how well agencies help them and reduce the risk of serious youth violence.

Multi-agency interventions in places such as parks, streets and shopping malls, where individual or groups of children are at risk, will be scrutinised to improve safety for children and for communities. In addition to individual local area reports, an overview summary of the thematic will be published.

Justin Russell, Chief Inspector of Probation, said: “These joint inspections will be vital in identifying the next steps in how local agencies should approach the issue of youth violence, what effective practice is already in place, and how to make long-term improvements for the benefit of children and the partner agencies.”

Sammy Odoi, managing director at Wipers Youth, said: "Tackling serious youth violence is essential and we hope inspectors identify good practice which can be emulated elsewhere."

"This should include mentoring young people at risk of becoming involved in youth violence or the youth justice system, introducing young people to education, training and employment opportunities to deter them from a life of crime and violence and activities for young people to engage in which will boost their confidence and self-esteem."

"At Wipers, we see how our specialist mentoring service can be instrumental in helping young people to turn their lives around. Often, young people involved in violence or crime do not have a positive role model in their lives and having a trusting relationship with an adult who looks out for them can be empowering and enable them to make better choices," concluded Sammy.


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