Young offenders in transition are ‘unsettled and unmotivated’ Changing care plans frequently ahead of resettlement leaves young offenders feeling "unsettled, unmotivated and unwanted"...

Frequently changing care plans ahead of resettlement makes young people leaving custody feel “unsettled, unmotivated and unwanted” an Ofsted report has found.

Published today, Transition through detention and custody – based on inspections of 23 secure establishments and evidence from inspections of 139 youth offending teams (YOTs) – evaluated the range and effectiveness of education and training arrangements for young offenders.

The report found patchy initial assessments and poor information-sharing between councils, YOTs and detention centres meant young offenders “suffered” when moving to and from custody.

Not all secure establishments surveyed created and maintained links with schools and employers, while secure children’s homes surveyed said they often received poor information about young people and found many arriving without personal education plans in place.

Ofsted also found that poor relationships between councils and YOTs in some areas hindered access to good resettlement support.

Chief Inspector Christine Gilbert said: “Young people moving through the youth justice system need well co-ordinated education, training and support if they are to reintegrate into the community.

“But too often information about young people entering and leaving secure establishments is not good enough to enable organisations to plan effectively and meet their needs.

“It is vital that youth justice teams, local authorities and their partners learn from this report and consider the recommendations for improvement we have made.”

Recommendations include that local authorities improve the “quality and speed of information transfer between the ‘host’ and ‘home’ councils” and that YOTs attend review meetings and “improve the quality of initial assessments and basic skills assessments”.

The report also recommended that local authorities ensure statements of special educational need are reviewed annually when a young person is imprisoned, and develop a national statutory plan for all young people moving through the system, recognised by all stakeholders to ensure integration.

The Youth Justice Board should “support and challenge” YOTs and local authorities to carry out the recommendations and “communicate more positively” with employers and stakeholders in education about young people, Ofsted recommended.

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