Presentation on theme: "Inspecting YOTs: policy context and young people’s views about services Ben Clark, HMI Probation October 2006."— Presentation transcript:
Inspecting YOTs: policy context and young people’s views about services Ben Clark, HMI Probation October 2006
Gathering views within a legislative framework - Children Act 2004 Requires local authorities and their relevant partners, including YOTs, to co-operate to improve children’s well being Engaging children and young people at the heart of the Every Child Matters agenda ‘Framework for Inspection of Children’s Services’ sets out principles for inspection Key principle is the involvement of children and young people in inspection e.g. YOTI, JAR
The YOT Inspection programme Multi-inspectorate team Conducts inspections of all YOTs in England and Wales over a five year cycle Published Standards Assists in improving standards Reports to Home Secretary
What is a JAR? Joint inspection of council’s services to children Lead inspector from Ofsted or CSCI, supported by joint inspection team Based around Every Child Matters Linked to the Corporate Assessment Considerable political and strategic significance to the council
YOT Inspection links with JAR Conducted at the same time as the JAR and Corporate Assessment Findings used to inform both processes Focuses on strategic management and partnership arrangements and on service delivery YOT’s engagement with children and young people assessed
Gathering views of children and young people: fundamental issues 1 - Secure children and young people’s views during inspection and use their views as evidence of the quality of services they receive 2 - Assess how effectively services are consulting children and young people and what difference that consultation makes to the services provided
1. Gathering views in inspection Face-to-face interviews with inspectors during inspection fieldwork Paper questionnaire sent out pre-fieldwork Use of computer assisted self interviewing (‘CASI’) before, during and after fieldwork.
2. Assessing YOTs’ consultation: what are we looking for? Methods: different methods used? Inclusivity: every child and young person? Frequency: regular and issues can be raised outside of the consultation process? Range: consult on full range of issues? Effectiveness: consultation makes a difference and staff give feedback?
Relevant inspection criterion “Outcomes for children and young people are improved by their involvement in consultation about the services provided by the YOT.” There are currently no National Standards specific to gathering children’s views and using the information to inform service delivery, though these are planned.
What have we found so far? 1. What children tell us Profile: 639 responses, from nine regions and Wales. 40% male, 21% from BME groups. Over 50% were aged 16 or over. 96% had English as first language. Most common offence = violence. Nearly 40% on a Referral Order. Over half had been coming to the YOT for up to 6 months.
‘What children tell us’ contd. Strengths Children and young people generally very positive about their experiences with YOTs. No overt signs of inequitable treatment at YOT according to gender or ethnicity – a clear positive ¾ said that coming to the YOT had changed their life ‘for the better’ Nearly 2/3 said that the YOT was always helpful to them
‘What children tell us’ contd. Areas for improvement 1/5 said they did not know the ‘What Do You Think’ form Nearly half said that they had not been told how to make a complaint
What have we found so far? 2. YOTs’ own consultation Many YOTs had tried to introduce a process of consultation which had subsequently folded Greater use could be made of ‘What Do You Think’ for both planning and review Some YOTs, but not enough, contributed to their authority’s community consultation strategy Children and young people’s views did not consistently inform strategic planning
ASK the CHILD! The views of children and young people should be at the centre of service delivery