West Berkshire Council

Start date: 2015-11-03
End date: 2015-12-14
Results: 2016-03-03
ARCHIVED

[ARCHIVED] Budget Proposal 2016/17 - Phase One: Youth Offending Team (YOT)

Part of the range of West Berkshire Council's budget proposals for 2016/17, with supporting information and Equality Impact Assessments.

If you haven't already seen our video explaining why these changes are being proposed, please visit our Budget Proposals 2016/17 webpage.

Background

The Youth Offending Team (YOT) is made up of social workers, education workers, a police officer, health worker, probation, restorative justice and youth workers. The team helps young people access the services young people need to help turn them away from crime.

The council currently funds three areas of work that have helped young people in the area of communication and to be more physically active.

  1. A Speech and Language Therapist is employed to help improve the communication skills for young offenders and has also trained other staff in the YOT in skills and techniques to help their clients. Funding of £12,873 has been made available to the YOT since 2013/14 for this.
  2. Opportunities for young offenders to be more active, giving them the chance to experience new and different forms of activity which helps to divert them from crime. Funding of £9,000 has been available from 2014/15 for this.
  3. Education Mentoring support post. Funding of £2,310 has been available from Public Health to increase the support for young people in the YOT who are also in full time education.

Proposal

It is proposed to cease funding these three areas of work within the YOT. This will result in a saving of £24,183.


What do we think the impact will be?

Since the Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) project has run for three years it is anticipated that the YOT staff will be able to work with their clients around communication and help them to increase their self-esteem and self confidence in this area. Ceasing the funding should therefore not have a dramatic effect. It is also possible that SLT could be employed to undertake any update training and initial training for new staff that join the YOT team. Those staff working with young offenders are already trained to improve the self confidence and effectiveness of their clients.

There are significant opportunities available in the district for young people to be physically active and being encouraged to take part in what is already available will enable them to feel a part of their communities and families. There is no reason this proposal should mean that they will not be able to be active.

The YOT already works with schools and pupil referral units to help make sure their clients get the most from their education and it is proposed that this integrated way of working should be further developed so that the impact of this proposal would be reduced.


What else have we considered in arriving at our proposal?

The amount of physical activity opportunities that are available within the district for little or no cost have to be considered in ceasing this special funding for this client group. Those young people who use YOT services should be encouraged to be active with their own families and communities.

The skilling up of YOT staff around communication difficulties and low self esteem/ low self confidence has already happened. New staff will be enabled to access some training in this area and the occasional update session can be funded.

We will ensure that schools and Pupil Referral Units engage with the YOT staff to ensure that all young people get the most from their educational experiences.


This consultation has now closed.

What you told us

We received 10 responses to this consultation.

We have condensed all your comments into the 'Summary of Responses' and everything you said, word for word, is contained in 'Verbatim Responses'.

These can be found in 'Documents' below.

What we did

A recommendation on how to proceed with this proposal was made to the Executive Members on 11 February 2016.

This can also be found below in 'Overview and Recommendation'.

Following this, at the Full Council Meeting on 1 March 2016, all Members discussed this proposal as part of setting the Revenue Budget for 2016/17.

At the vote, the budget was agreed with the suggested amendments.

It was agreed to continue to fund this service at the reduced level.

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