The Youth Justice Board (YJB) has commended Surrey on the work it has done to improve its youth justice services and has formally de-escalated Surrey from YJB priority status.
In a letter to Surrey County Council’s Youth Offending Team, the YJB praised the work undertaken to improve this provision: “The progress that has been made in the delivery of youth justice services (since July 2019) is significant and we would like to commend Surrey on the way in which you have approached your improvement journey and focused on the needs of the children, families and the communities you serve.
“You have encompassed a child first approach to the delivery of your service whilst recognising the importance of practitioners skilled in working with the specific needs of children in the justice system.
“The feedback from the practitioners and children given during the presentation at the review in July were inspiring and their voices brought to life the progress that Surrey has clearly made.
“The YJB commends you on the changes that your service has made and the impact that this will have on outcomes for children.”
The YJB also recognised the wider improvements across Surrey’s children’s services, and noted how this contributed to their confidence that Surrey would continue to make further positive developments.
Mary Lewis, Surrey County Council Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families said: “I am delighted with this outcome, which clearly illustrates the dedication and determination Surrey County Council and our partners have shown in improving this provision.
“We are continually engaging with young people to ensure we are listening to their views and developing our practices to best meet their needs.
“Our aim is to ensure children and young people at risk of, or involved in offending, are engaged and supported to lead safe, law abiding lives, in order to reach their full potential and make a positive contribution to their community.”
Surrey was previously given YJB priority status following an HMI Probation inspection in July 2019. The inspection indicated a need for Surrey to improve its ability to deliver positive outcomes for children in the youth justice system.