Monday, 25 January 2016

Lets Look at E3 (8)

Chapter 7 Youth Offending Services (YOS)

7.1 What does the model look like now? 

Since Youth Offending Services (YOS) were set up in 1998, Probation has played an integral part as a statutory partner in local services. This has included the secondment of probation staff to work in local Youth Offending Teams (YOT). These staff contribute to the multiagency work of the teams and in particular to the transfer of YOS cases to NPS or CRC at the age of 18. The NPS has responsibility for the Probation contribution to more than 150 local YOS. Currently the shape of this contribution varies across the NPS, specifically in the numbers and grades of staff, whether these are directly seconded staff or staff recruited by the YOT but paid for by Probation, and whether additional funding or other support is provided. There are also variations in the focus of work which seconded staff undertake. 

The proposals for YOS focus on harmonising staffing and working models, to ensure that these reflect both the needs of local services and best practice. The resources provided to YOS need to be reviewed to ensure a level of consistency and value for money. The proposals take into account changes in the profile of youth offending and in sentencing policy over recent years which have resulted in an estimated fall of 60% in the volume of cases managed by YOS. The Ministry of Justice is currently undertaking a review of Youth Justice which may have an impact on these proposals.

7.2 What do we want the future model to look like? 

We will continue to support YOS work to fulfil our statutory responsibility. We are committed to the multi-agency focus in work with young offenders and to a continued fall in youth offending. We will continue to build and maintain positive links between Probation and YOS which benefit young offenders and the community. We will ensure an equitable use of resources across different YOS. We want seconded Probation staff to contribute their specialist skills effectively in the most appropriate cases.

7.3 End state proposals 
There are three proposals for YOS work. 

7.3.1 National Framework 
Subject to the outcome of the Review of Youth Justice, we will agree an NPS framework which confirms the NPS responsibility towards YOS work. The framework will mean clear expectations of secondment arrangements for both YOS and NPS. It will ensure a consistent approach to YOS which meets statutory requirements. 

7.3.2 Resource model 
The framework will include a resource model based on the current workload of each YOS, with the contribution being in the form of seconded members of staff rather than financial. Seconded staff will be band 4 POs. In YOS where the resource model requires an additional member of staff to be seconded, there is scope for us to negotiate with the YJB about whether the additional resource should be a band 3 PSO, as is currently the situation in some YOS. This will apply in some of the larger YOS.

We expect that it will be easier for the NPS to monitor staffing cost than financial contributions. We will second staff for a period of three years to ensure that they retain their Probation skills and that the development opportunities offered by secondments are open to a greater number of OMs. 

As a result of this rationalisation of the resource model, we anticipate that there will be an overall reduction in numbers of staff seconded to YOS and therefore in cost. 

7.3.3 Standard workload 
Seconded OMs will work with high risk offenders and those offenders who will transfer to the NPS when they are 18. The expected size of caseload for a full time seconded OM will be 25 cases, this takes into account the complexity of and level of intervention required with YOS cases which are high risk and/or transferring to the NPS. Where YOS caseloads are particularly low this may mean that the seconded OM does not work full time in the YOS. 

7.4 Impact on service delivery 
We will need to negotiate with the YJB, and also with individual local authorities to agree the resource model and transition arrangements. In some areas we expect there will be a reduction in probation contribution and we will need to agree arrangements to manage this transition carefully to minimise the impact on local services. Other areas are likely to see an increase in provision and planning will also be needed to make best use of the additional staff. 

Agreeing the focus of the seconded OMs’ work means that they will make effective use of their risk assessment and intervention skills. It should also mean good quality risk management and a smooth transfer to the NPS for relevant cases.

OMs who have undertaken a secondment will be able to contribute to an increase in understanding and practice in work with young adults in the NPS. 

We will need to agree with the YJB an arrangement for providing performance data so we can ensure that OMs are managing the correct cases and that transfer of young adults to the Probation adult services has improved. 

The progress of the Youth Justice review may affect the timescale for putting these proposals into effect. 

7.5 Impact on staff 
These changes will provide OMs with a valuable development opportunity to be seconded to the YOT for a set period during their career, using their probation skills in a multi-agency setting to work with the most challenging young offenders whilst maintaining their NPS links.

We recognise that it will be important to support them in maintaining their knowledge and training in NPS work to ensure that they can remain flexible and mobile members of staff and so that they can continue to contribute to good practice in the light of their experience in youth justice. 

We are aware that some staff who have been seconded to YOS for extended periods may have specific training needs on returning to the NPS. We will take this into account in planning the arrangements for their return.

7.6 Conclusion 

We believe that E3 provides an opportunity for the NPS to agree an updated framework for the NPS contribution to YOS, which makes the best use of probation qualified staff and contributes to public protection.

(more to follow)


  1. The YOT's to have a band 4 probation officer with 25 cases and a PSO as an "additional resource". How this compares to the E3 model for NPS probation offices - band 3 PSO's with unlimited cases and Probation Officer's the additional resource.

    CRC's will have no probation officers and use Skype!!

  2. "7.5 Impact on staff
    These changes will provide OMs with a valuable development opportunity to be seconded to the YOT for a set period during their career, using their probation skills in a multi-agency setting to work with the most challenging young offenders whilst maintaining their NPS links."

    Groundbreaking! Astonishing! E3 is unbelievably innovative! Wow!!!

    1. A colleague seconded 6 months ago coming back- apparently not made to feel welcome and YOT workers cannot manage 10 cases, no joined up working, as all serving different services and very little will to make shared work a positive experience!

  3. G4S considers exiting young offenders work in US and UK

    Ashley Almanza, G4S chief executive since June 2013, has succeeded in restoring the company to profit after it slumped to a pre-tax loss of £190m in 2013. This loss was partly because of a £109m settlement with the government after it emerged that G4S had been overcharging the ministry of justice for the electronic monitoring of offenders, including some who were dead.

    But the scenes filmed at Medway by the BBC’s Panorama programme raise important questions about G4S’s efforts to improve contract execution, plus its approach to the recruitment, training and supervision of staff.

    G4S’s risk management policies and internal controls are under scrutiny once again, having been told by the government after the tagging fiasco that it must undergo a process of “corporate renewal”.

    “How could this happen?,” says one person close to G4S, referring to the incidents filmed by the BBC reporters at Medway. “It’s a debate about the strategic direction of the business. And should G4S leave youth justice and concentrate on the rest of its work, which is far less controversial?”

    The core of G4S’s business is security services for companies and governments. It employs more than 600,000 staff, many of whom are guarding offices scattered across the world.

    G4S declined to comment on whether it would exit youth justice work but said some of the alleged behaviour at Medway was “horrifying and sickening”. “It is wholly unacceptable in a business that has responsibility for children,” it added.

    1. "Contract execution" - hmmm? Sounds about right!

    2. Any references to 'mechanics' or 'cleaners' by any chance?

  4. The security firm G4S is being paid for looking after empty beds in a secure training centre (STC) that is the focus of allegations of widespread abuse by staff, the Guardian has learned. The company has received over £260,000 since the abuse story broke.

    The shadow home secretary, Andy Burnham, said G4S was running rings round the government and the public was losing confidence in its cosy relationship with the firm.

    The Youth Justice Board (YJB), which oversees the detention of young people in England and Wales, told the Guardian that 47 children are detained at Medway STC in Kent. But G4S is being paid to look after the full capacity of 76. Following the allegations, the YJB announced it would stop sending children to Medway.

    Earlier this month, a Panorama investigation revealed footage, taken by an undercover reporter working as a guard at Medway, in which children were being assaulted by staff, who later boasted about the abuse to colleagues.

    Staff were also seen talking freely about falsifying records of violent incidents. Under STC rules, if more than two children are fighting, it is classified as staff losing control of the centre and G4S faces heavy fines. Footage showed a guard saying: “If we get an incident with four kids, it will get split up so they, G4S, don’t get fined.”

  5. To see G4S at its worst, google 'End G4S support for Israel's brutal occupation - War on Want'. There are also a number of other sites making reference to G4S acitivities and involvement with the Israeli Prison Service in the running and maintenance of security systems. Human Rights organisations have documented systematic brutality and torture of prisoners, including children. It also provides military equipment and services to the Israeli checkpoints, and G4S's complicity in the violation of international law has led to a petition which has been signed by significant names, headed by Desmond Tutu, and is open to others adding their name.

    G4S gas already been voted one of the worst companies in the world in a 'Hall of Shame'. Do we really want this abhorrent company to have ANYTHING to do with our prisons and detention centres etc? It is staggering that our government is even giving the likes of G4S, Sudexo, Serco,a second thought, never mind handing out contracts for this, that and the other on a plate.

  6. I went to yos on secondment, worse decision ever, staff culture towards probation was negative, staff sickness levels were rediculous and 25 cases will be hard to manage unless you get the right training and support. I didn't and couldn't manage. Children going missing, running away can take up your whole day, never mind the endless high risk meetings you will have in between

  7. The architects of CRCs & E3 (& all associated projects) are beautifully described by Oscar Wilde, i.e. they are people who know "the price of everything and the value of nothing." Wilde's character was offering a description of cynics, and it is certainly a cynical and systematic act of wanton destruction that has eviscerated the probation profession.

  8. Way off topic...and I apologise.

    But this evening as I walked through the city centre of my way home a begger asked me politely for some change. I declined, equally politely.

    Then round the corner I was confronted by another begger - stood up in her red uniform and an official ID badge. She was smiley and determined to get eye contact but not polite other than that. A chugger (is that the right term) for Shelter. I suggeste dthat instead of accosting me she should be helping the previous guy. She looked bemused - so perfectly turned out she wouldn't dream of engaging with an unwashed type. Then it occurred to me that Shelter are part of the Purple Future partnership that has taken ownership of our CRC, and here they were begging for my money on the street. Now I know she doesn't work directly for Shleter, because next week she will be 'collecting' for Greenpeace or Oxfam, but I thought I would test her knowledge of homelessness in our fine city, Did she know the city's best known nighshetter? No. So I asked her why I shouldn't give my money to 'Simon' and not her (Simon on the Streets are a local street outreach charity for the most vulnerable homeless - they are in some cities). She didn't know what I was on about.
    I bade a fond farewell and wished her well for her commissions for the day. Then on my way home I wondered in the months and years ahead how many other clueless and inexperienced staff Purple Futures would employ to manage Probation clients. I concluded 'not many' cos I reckon it won't be long before the audits hole them below the waterline, and the PbR holes them below the bottom line.

    Perhaps, on my way home, I should have been thinking about the vulnerable beggers and homeless in our city, but instead I thought of my colleagues in the CRC who are facing a great deal of uncertainty over the coming months.

    1. Good post. It helps to give everyday experiences some context.

  9. Look it's uncertain for us all. It's going to be dog eat dog and perceived loyalties will dissappear. When it comes to it, if you get blood on your teeth then go for the kill. It will be war when it comes to it so you need to be well equipped for when it comes to it. Now I know people will not like this but that's what's in store when it comes to it

    1. I'm sorry, but I have friends in the CRC, and the others I still count as fond colleagues. I expect that those that will leave, will mostly choose that path. They should leave with dignity for a good career and I for one will be drinking in the pub with them, not baying for their blood.

      If you are a new to Probation, I would suggest you take a more empathetic viewpoint. Not for the sake of your colleagues, but for yourself. Resolve your issues before your service users chew you up and spit you out.

  10. How you know I'm new. I've seen redundancy before. I've lived it. Beaten and lost to it. I'm still fighting. My point is there are other options our there so don't worry if you lose against me in any job saying interview.

    1. Given your writing ability my pet rabbit would do a better job!

  11. Cut funding, privatise, dumb down, de-professionalise, employ unqualified staff... Then why would we be surprised when the news includes:

    - child dies because NHS 111 phone-based system meant non-medically trained staff & computer- based questions missed fatal symptoms

    - following massive cuts to mental health staff & services there's now concern about an escalation in serious incidents

    - half empty call handling centres for emergency services "are costing to much", most of which were built under PFI arrangements & will continue to drain public funds for years to come.