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Youth Justice Board Member visits innovative Gloucestershire Youth Support Team

24 May 2013

A member of the Youth Justice Board, David Banks, visited Gloucestershire County Council’s Youth Support Team today. The youth support service is delivered by Prospects, the education, employment and training company, on behalf of the County Council.

David joined the Youth Justice Board last October. As part of his induction he is undertaking a series of visits to gain a better understanding of the system. This is his first visit to a Youth Offending Team and he will see how the highly successful Gloucestershire service is using new ways to reach vulnerable young people, which have already achieved excellent results.

The number of young people entering the criminal justice system in Gloucestershire has decreased - particularly youngsters in care and those leaving care. There have been reductions in the number of young people with youth offending orders and more of them are getting back into education, employment and training. Fewer young people are getting into trouble, due to youth crime prevention activity undertaken by the team, which has resulted in a 47% reduction in first time entrants to the criminal justice system.

The Gloucestershire Youth Support Team supports approximately 6,000 vulnerable young people in the county. The team targets specific groups of young people most at risk of not making a successful transition into adulthood, including young offenders and those on the edge of the criminal justice system. The multi-disciplinary team comprises youth workers, family support, health and careers specialists working with police and probation officers. Acting as an integrated team, they identify young people most at risk and intervene early to prevent issues and problems escalating.

The Gloucestershire Youth Support Team also delivers statutory services such as Looked After Children; Care Leavers aged 16+ and transition support for young people with learning and or physical disabilities. The team operates across Gloucestershire through youth support centres, mobile centres, in schools and with families and young people in their homes.

David Banks, member of the Youth Justice Board, lives in Gloucestershire and is a chartered accountant and senior manager with more than 35 years’ experience in the private sector, specialising in the provision of criminal justice and security services nationally and internationally. Now a management consultant providing strategic business advice he was previously Group Managing Director, Care and Justice Services of G4S plc. David is a former Board member and Treasurer of YMCA England.

Alison Williams, Prospects Director of Youth Support, said,
“We were delighted to have David visit our service and to see first-hand how an integrated service for young people can really improve outcomes for our most vulnerable young people. We look forward to working with David and continuing to work with the Youth Justice Board.”

David Banks, Youth Justice Board Member, said,
“Youth Offending Teams in Gloucestershire and across the country are essential in ensuring young people are properly managed and supported during their time in the criminal justice system. It has been invaluable to speak with YOT staff, which has given me a greater insight into the challenges they face and the work they do to ensure sentences are successfully completed in the community and young people face up to their actions.

Furthermore, I was pleased to find out about the work the YOT is doing to assess young people, in order to provide the most suitable and effective rehabilitation, which in turn can help reduce reoffending and turn young peoples’ lives around.”

Cllr Paul McLain, Cabinet member for children and young people, said, “Early targeted, intervention work is really making a difference and reducing the number of children and young people entering the criminal justice system. It is especially good to see the numbers of children in care and care leavers in the criminal justice system coming down. I’m sure David Banks would have been impressed with what he found in Gloucestershire.”

Prospects is one of the largest providers of careers advice and services which are targeted at vulnerable young people. We deliver face to face careers advice in London, the West Midlands and Yorkshire and Humber, on behalf of National Careers Service.

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Notes to Editor

Photo caption: [from left] Team Manager Jane Marriott with David Banks, and Assistant Team Manager Louise Brannon, being shown woodwork made by young people at the centre in London Road, by Programme Officer Charles Wallace.

About Prospects
Prospects is a leading education, employment and training company, working nationally and internationally. We estimate we help more than one million people each year, through an extensive range of high quality services. We are one of the first and largest new employee owned mutual companies, with shares owned by managers and staff.

Our services include;

  • Careers services for adults and young people –including the National Careers Service in three regions
  • Advice and guidance for offenders in custody, in Greater London and Yorkshire and Humber
  • The Work Programme, the government's major initiative to help long term unemployed people back to work, in the South West, London and Bristol
  • Ofsted Early Years Inspection Services in the Midlands and North of England
  • Youth Contract targeted support for young people aged 16-17 in the West Midlands and Yorkshire and Humber
  • An extensive range of education consultancy and school improvement services
  • Academy sponsorship through Prospects Academies Trust, an independent charity supporting the development of Academies and Free Schools.

We are also widely recognised for expertise in events management, recruitment, community regeneration and educational resources. Gabbitas, one of the most trusted names in independent education, is part of the Prospects Group.

Prospects received the Consultant of the Year Award, at the Education Investor Awards in 2012 and the Assignment Report Education Company of the Year in 2011.

Media contact:

Jayne Runacres
PR Manager
020 8315 1023
07901 922211

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