A government inspection of Thurrock Council's Youth Offending Service has rated it as overall 'good' after inspectors found the service has outstanding leadership and does excellent work in assessing what intervention is required to help prevent young people from re-offending.
Of 13 judgements, 6 were rated 'outstanding', 4 as 'good' and 3 as 'requires improvement'. The report found that the service: "has firmly embedded a child-first culture at a strategic and operational level, but this does not detract from its focus on keeping other people safe."
It also highlighted that active and cohesive partnerships and a commitment to learning and using an evidence-based approach means that the service has an effective strategy to deal with gangs and the young people they exploit and that it does a good job supporting children to stop them from re-offending.
It says: "Children have good access to support for education, training, and employment; emotional and mental health; and speech, language, and communication."
Cllr Barry Johnson, Cabinet member for Children's Services, said: "It is fantastic to get this kind of recognition for our Youth Offending Service, the overall rating was 'good' but many significant aspects of their work was rated as 'outstanding'. I am very proud of the work undertaken by the Youth Offending Service and of the partnership to support this work. Its role is not to punish young people but to serve as a lifeline to help them get their life on the right track.
"Work is already underway on the recommendations from the inspectors, especially in the 3 areas judged to require improvement.
"This is an extremely complex service to deliver. It has to balance the needs of victims while doing all it can to prevent young people from slipping into a life of crime. This report shows that our Youth Offending Service and the partnership does a good job of walking that difficult line."