Leeds & West Yorkshire

'Serious concerns' about Bradford youth offending team

Young person (anonymous) Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Youth Offending Team in Bradford requires improvement, the Inspectorate of Probation report said

There are "serious concerns" about a team working with troubled children and young people in West Yorkshire, a report has found.

The Bradford Youth Offending Team lacked strategic leadership and failed to deal with child sexual exploitation, HM Inspectorate of Probation said.

Inspectors said there had been "major instability" in the management and senior leadership team.

The report said staff had expressed optimism about a new leadership.

Youth Offending Teams (YOT) supervise 10 to 17-year-olds who have been convicted or have come to the attention of the police.

After a review of 12 areas of work in an inspection over two weeks from September to October last year, the team was given a "requires improvement" rating - the second-lowest mark.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption The service works with 10 to 17-year-olds who have either been sentenced or have come to the attention of police

Chief Inspector of Probation Justin Russell said: "We had a number of serious concerns about this Youth Offending Team (YOT), with performance on eight of our 12 quality standards judged to be 'Inadequate' and the service only rescued from an overall 'Inadequate' rating by some better-quality work with out-of-court disposal cases.

"Bradford YOT has been through a period of instability, particularly among its senior ranks.

"There has been an absence of strategic leadership, which has affected the team's ability to work effectively with children and young people who have offended or who are at risk of offending."

Inspectors found the staff were "not proficient at recording risks or dealing with issues such as child sexual exploitation or safeguarding."

Mr Russell added: "The staff have expressed optimism about the new leadership and its ability to make necessary improvements."

Mark Douglas of Bradford Council's Children's Services, said: "We fully accept the report's findings and the service is acting on these urgently to ensure that improvements are made."

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