Funding concern over pooled budgets

Urgent child protection work could “suck up resources” from youth
offending teams under the new children’s trusts’ pooled budgets,
the Youth Justice Board warned delegates last week.

The comments came after children’s minister Margaret Hodge said she
wanted Yots to take a “central role” in the trusts’ preventive

YJB director of practice and performance Chris Hume, who is looking
at guidance for Yots and children’s trusts, called for appropriate
resources for young offenders within trusts’ pooled budgets.

He said: “We have to make sure that young people who are dealt with
by Yots also receive provision from the rest of children’s

Yot managers from pathfinder areas, which have piloted the trust
model, also raised concerns about the “dangers” of flexible
allocation of resources, and said the lack of “prescriptiveness”
had proved disappointing.

Hodge reiterated the duty of Yots to “co-operate” with other
agencies under the Children Bill. She said Yots would play an
important part in the “huge shift” of the system of children’s
services “towards early intervention and prevention”.

Hodge acknowledged that prevention was “at the heart” of the Yots’
existing agenda, and urged them to support broader risk
minimisation programmes in children’s trusts.

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