Clinical specialists join youth justice team – with reoffending rates below national levels

Reoffending rates for young people across Nottinghamshire are below the national average – according to new figures.

Nottinghamshire County Council’s Youth Justice Strategy was discussed at Full Council today, with news that the Youth Offending Team’s reoffending rate stands at 34.4 per cent, compared to 37.9 per cent nationally.

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Meanwhile, Nottinghamshire’s rate of 322 first time offenders per 100,000 10-17-year-olds mirrors that of national average levels at the same figure.

The report sets out that the county council’s Youth Offending Team’s aims include reducing the number of young people offending, reducing the frequency and rate of reoffending, and keeping the number of young people experiencing custody to a minimum.

And new appointments to help tackle issues around young offenders with complex needs within youth justice across the county include a new Social Media Champion, a Speech and Language Therapist and a Clinical Psychologist specialising in addressing trauma.

Councillor Tracey Taylor, Vice-Chairman of the Children and Young People’s Committee, at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “The Youth Offending Team’s work ensures that the needs of the child are at the centre of what they do and they work with the child and their family to seek the best outcomes.

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“While the YOTs strive to keep the child or young person safe and free from harm and will work to improve their life outcomes, it cannot be forgotten that the young person has offended and has caused harm to individuals and communities through their actions. Keeping individual victims and the public safe will therefore always remain an equal priority.”

The Youth Offending Team continues to work with partners including the police and children’s social care to ensure that children are not criminalised or remanded unnecessarily, and works with partner agencies on different areas such as substance misuse, restorative justice and victim support.

This year’s strategy also highlights:

  • The recent appointment of a speech and language therapist to help young people with speech, language or communication needs in the youth justice system. NHS funding was secured to create the post, to be based within the CAMHS Head2Head Team and to work across the city and county.
  • Another joint city and county Youth Offending Team initiative is the launch of a Clinical Psychology post within Head2head to focus on improving the care to young people who have experienced trauma.
  • The YOT has identified a Social Media Champion to ensure staff are kept informed of the latest trends in social media and the role it plays with young people – recognising the role of social media is often integral to young people’s offending and their health and wellbeing.
  • All relevant Youth Offending Team staff have now completed Harmful Sexual Behaviour training to give them extra skills to assist young people with complex needs.
  • The annual Youth Justice Strategy says that working with other teams, departments and partners is key to ensuring that the best outcomes are secured for children and young people.
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It says that key factors that many take for granted, such as stable and suitable accommodation, positive and enduring personal relationships, full participation in education, training or employment, feeling safe, secure and loved and a healthy lifestyle free from substances, exploitation, or unaddressed health needs drastically improve a child’s ability to integrate successfully into society and lead a law abiding and productive life as an adult.

The report was approved by the County Council at its Full Council meeting today (Thu, Sep 20).