Fabio (above, centre) is one of the YOS Peer Advocates (young people with experience of the youth justice system who help support other young people and work with our service). Here he is speaking at a debate during Youth Safety Week back in February.
Camden Council’s Youth Offending Service has been rated ‘outstanding’ by inspectors, placing the service as one of the top performers in the country.
The report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation covers the Council’s Youth Offending Service (YOS) and its work alongside the police, schools and health services to support young people to reduce and prevent offending. It also covers Camden’s wider youth work, including youth early help, social work and community safety.
Inspectors said the service "values the children, young people and families they work with" and praised the Council’s "effective, collaborative leadership" in their report published today.
The report also mentioned that "working with children who live complex lives and increasingly fear for their safety, the YOS strikes a good balance between supporting their desistance and safety and wellbeing, and the need to protect the public and victims".
Inspectors also outlined that staff work "enthusiastically, and efficiently, to understand the issues affecting children and young people, developing services and projects to address these", and provided key examples such as Camden’s early intervention work, setting up a new team to tackle knife crime and supporting young people out of gangs.
The report highlighted that all children and young people have access to a wide range of professional support, interventions and activities - for example: speech and language specialists, substance misuse support, improving mental and physical wellbeing, education, training and employment services.
Camden YOS was also praised for "making sure each child or young person was treated as an individual", with provision tailored to meet their individual needs.
Camden is the first urban area and London borough to be rated outstanding under this new inspection regime.
Maria Ahmed, YOS Peer Advocate, said:
"My fellow peer advocates and myself are so proud to be working for the Camden Youth Offending Service. From being service users to peer advocates, where we now have the opportunity to make a difference to young people’s lives, it’s a real privilege. We hope to inspire the young people we meet, as we have often had similar experiences to them. The opportunity and support provided by Camden YOS is something we all received and now we have the honour of helping other young people."