Youth offending chief dismissed after critical report
The head of a service which works with young offenders in Lambeth has been dismissed after it was found to be failing.
The Youth Offending Service, the council department which works to prevent offending by young people, was given a harsh review by inspectors this week, who said it was significantly under-performing in three key areas.
It received its lowest mark in relation to levels of protection for the public, with a rating of just 42 per cent.
For work to decrease the likelihood of reoffending, it was given a mark of 52 per cent, while for safeguarding young people it received a mark of 50 per cent.
All three marks were between 18 and 21 percentage points below the national average.
Julie Fox, Assistant Chief Inspector, said there were “a number of areas” where practices had “fallen below what was needed” and gave the service an overall rating of “poor”.
She added: “For this borough the implications of not taking appropriate action could be significant.
“In particular, the quality of assessments required improvement, so that in each case there is a very clear understanding of the risks of harm, reoffending and vulnerability and to ensure appropriate plans are produced, followed and reviewed.”
A Lambeth council spokeswoman would not reveal the identity of the dismissed employee but councillor Rachel Heywood, cabinet member for children and families, said the service was being “fully assessed”.
“If the problems are down to staff then we will take tough action including dismissal,” she said. “We will not accept failure in a service that is so critical for the wellbeing and safety of Lambeth’s children and young people.”
Lucy Dawes, the Youth Justice Board director of performance, a public body which oversees youth justice in England and Wales, said they would support a 12-month improvement programme to bring the service up to standard.