Youth Offending Service (YOS) wins national award for outstanding work

Youth Offending Service (YOS) wins national award for outstanding work
Youth Offending Service (YOS) wins national award for outstanding work

Buckinghamshire's Youth Offending Service (YOS) has been nationally recognised for its outstanding work in helping children and young people turn their lives around.

Buckinghamshire's Youth Offending Service (YOS) has been nationally recognised for its outstanding work in helping children and young people turn their lives around.

The team has been awarded prestigious ‘Quality Lead’ status for its success in securing better outcomes for those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) who end up in the youth justice system.

The endorsement from the Achievement for All (AfA) educational group comes as part of a national two-year project to highlight the distinct problems faced by many young people with SEND in the youth justice system.

The project, sponsored by the Department for Education (DfE) and led by AfA, was carried out in close partnership with the Association of Youth Offending Team Managers (AYM) and researchers from Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU).

Buckinghamshire was one of 10 Youth Offending Teams granted Quality Lead status, while 12 other areas were granted Quality Mark status.

The awards to the teams and their local authority partners will be officially presented at a ceremony in Rugby, Warwickshire, on June 6th.

Jean Teesdale, Buckinghamshire County Council's Deputy Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “This is fantastic recognition of the dedicated work of our Youth Offending Service and the great progress we have made in achieving positive outcomes for young people with special educational needs throughout the county.

“It shows the impact we are having in the provision of help for children and young people who find themselves in trouble with the law, and demonstrates the importance of working in partnership, effectively identifying problems and making early interventions.”

Marius Frank, Project Leader at Achievement for All said: “Our awards acknowledge and celebrate the Youth Offending Teams who work in close and effective partnerships with schools, academies and other organisations to put policies, processes and practice in place that creates a team around a child, either diverting them away from youth justice pathways or preventing them from entering the youth justice system in the first place.”

The Buckinghamshire citation says: "Bucks have made considerable progress in a short space of time… through building on already robust and effective work.”

Ollie Foxell, interim head of Buckinghamshire's Youth Offending Service, said the team had initially applied for Quality Mark status. He said: “We've worked hard as a team to embed the changes brought about by the Children and Families Act 2014 and to deliver better outcomes for young people in the youth justice system with SEND. We are delighted to have this work recognised and to have received quality lead status. ”