Agenda item

Medway Youth Justice Plan 2023-24

The Crime and Disorder Act 1998, requires Local Authorities to have a Youth Justice Plan, which is updated annually to set out how youth justice will be delivered locally within available resources.


This plan (attached at Appendix 1) is a completely new plan in line with guidance distributed to local authorities in March 2023. The Format of the plan follows guidance and headings provided by the national Youth Justice Board in the guidance mentioned, detailing best practice in the Youth Justice Plans completion.


A Diversity Impact Assessment was carried out last year and this has been reattached as appendix 2.



The Youth Offending Manager introduced the report which followed guidance and headings provided by the National Youth Justice Board and was in line with new guidance given to Local Authorities in March 2023. This plan focused on the statutory requirements and areas that Medway was required to report back on and detailed actions in place on how to improve performance.

Members raised several questions and comments which included:

  • Substance Misuse Worker – it was asked how the appointment of a substance misuse worker that was based in the North East Foundation Trust benefitted the young people of Medway and how this worked in practice. The officer said that quite a few of the young people they worked with used cannabis and the impact on their motivation and aspiration due to regular use was diminished.  Whilst there was a substance misuse worker linked to the service, there was a commissioning exercise currently taking place on increasing capacity. This exercise was to explore the possibility of employment of a person to a new part time post to work with young people, build relationships and monitor progress rather than linking in with Foundation Trust Service.


  • Child Adolescence Mental Health Service (CAMHS) Worker - the appointment of a CAMHS worker to the service was welcomed, it was however commented that the threshold for the CAMHS service was high, and it was asked what impact the worker would have on the service. The officer said that the provision of the CAMHS worker greatly benefitted the service due to the high prevalence of emotional mental health issues experienced by the young people they worked with. If a young person that came through the service was assessed as having a need through the mental health screening, this would be managed outside of the National CAHMS threshold, and their needs would be responded to appropriately.


  • Grant Allocation – it was commented that the grant allocations for 2023/24 had not yet been received and it was asked if there were mitigations in place should there be a reduction in the funding allocated. The officer said that whilst the allocation was not yet known, it was known that there would be an uplift from the previous year and there was no expected reduction in the amount to be received.


  • Police - it was commented that a Police Officer had not been seconded to the Youth Offending Team since 2022. It was vital that their support be given to the work being carried out by the Youth Offending Service and it was suggested that the Chief Superintendent be written to, to suggest that an officer from the Task Force may be suitable for the role. Officers said that discussions had taken place with the Police colleagues on the Youth Offending Board, and they gave their full support of the new Plan. Additionally, Kent Police were in the process of launching a Child Centred Policing Team and the development of that team and how it supported the delivery of the Police Officer role in the Youth Offending Team would continue to be closely monitored.


  • Reoffending Rates - in response to a question on what influences were behind reoffending rates as there had been some improvement in some areas of Medway but not others, the officer said that the data received was not case by case data, which made it difficult to determine and understand what the drivers were.  There was an Information Officer in post that had been collating data which would enable the team to form a picture and identify trends which would be presented to the Committee at a future meeting.


  • Youth Centres - In response to a question on what was in place to increase Youth Centres in Medway as residents were concerned that there were not enough, officers said that there were currently no plans in place to increase the number of Youth Centres. There was a good youth offer in Medway, with sessions delivered in its centres. Details of this would be provided to the Committee.



  1. The Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee noted the Medway Youth Justice Plan 2023-24 attached at Appendix 1 to the report.


  1. The Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee recommended Cabinet to recommend full Council to approve the Medway Youth Justice Plan 2023-24 attached at Appendix 1 to the report.   



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