Home Children and Young People Knowsley achieves Youth Justice award

Knowsley achieves Youth Justice award

by Gemma Melling

Knowsley has been successful in achieving the Youth Justice SEND Quality Lead Award.

A Quality Award – called the Youth Justice SEND Quality Lead Award – has been developed to recognise how the youth justice system works with children and young people with Special Educational Needs and / or Disabilities (SEND). It is awarded to Youth Offending teams and their partners that can demonstrate improved outcomes for children in their local area through effective partnership working.

How have Knowsley earned the award?

A partnership between Achievement for All and the Association of YOT Managers developed the quality award for practice with children in the youth justice system with SEND with the criteria and standards being developed with the support of the Department for Education and the Youth Justice Board.

Over the last 18 months, Knowsley’s Youth Offending Service has been working with children and young people with SEND and the service has achieved the rating of ‘widespread effective practice with evidence of outcomes for children with SEND’ in ten assessment criteria.

The criteria includes staff across the service, council and wider partnership including education at pre and post 16 years, the police, Knowsley CCG, National Probation Service and North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust having a sound knowledge of SEND practice, effective information exchange between partners, effective planning to identify any children at risk of entering the criminal justice system and effective engagement with children and families in all aspects of screening, identification, diagnosis and intervention planning.

The assessment highlighted a number of areas of good practice including the development of effective processes at an operational level, through to effective strategic leadership, underpinned by good working relationships led by co-located staff.

As a result, assessors concluded that Knowsley’s Youth Offending Service is a leader in this area of youth justice practice and have been awarded the higher level of Youth Justice SEND Quality Lead Award.

National recognition

Cllr Margaret Harvey, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said “This is a fantastic achievement. We aim to provide the very best services for our children and young people and this national recognition compliments some of the other support we provide to our children and families. This includes investing in additional resources to reduce waiting times around the Neuro Development pathway, development of our SEND strategy in partnership with children, families and partners as well as a very effective Knowsley Parent Carer Voice operating here in the borough.  This national recognition is a testament to the effective services we are delivering in Knowsley.”

The award is valid for three years, after which a further verification process will be applied to secure an extension.