Editorial Comment: Done’s top priority

With the Youth Justice Board likely to miss most of its key targets, its new chair will need to hit the ground running when she starts her new job next week. But Frances Done’s arrival also coincides with the good news that the Department for Children, Schools and Families has agreed to fund social worker posts in young offender institutions for another “transitional” year from March.

With children’s secretary Ed Balls promising to judge Done on cutting reoffending rates, the former chief executive of Rochdale Council would do well to make her top priority ensuring councils are ready to take over the funding of these posts from March 2009.

Social worker support for young people in custody is key to cutting reoffending. These posts must be properly funded – and filled.

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