1. Full board membership; linked to Governance, leadership and partnership arrangements
  2. Service Staff Structure
  3. Service Reporting Structure Chart
  4. Summary of the HMIP Improvement Plan

Introduction, vision and strategy

Introduction by Chair of Torbay Youth Justice Board

As the newly appointed chair of Torbay Youth Justice Service (TYJS) Strategic Management Board, I am pleased to present the Youth Justice Plan for 2022-23. It has been developed with the partners represented at both the Strategic and Operational Management Boards, the staff team and based on the feedback from young people, parents, victims and the wider community.

This year we have created a new vision and set of priorities for the service which are intended to continue to drive improvements in performance and practice.

I am particularly pleased to note our focus on a ‘Child First’ and Trauma Recovery Model approach to working with young people who come to the attention of the justice system as there is now a clear and growing evidence base that this approach works better than any other as evidenced by our low rates of reoffending and high percentage of those diverted from the formal youth disposals.

The Youth Justice Plan has been produced to describe the services contribution to achieving both national targets set by the Youth Justice Board and meeting the ambitions of the Torbay Community and Corporate Plan and the Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Plan 2021-25.

Ed Wright
Chair of the Torbay Youth Justice Strategic Board

Legal framework

The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (Section 39) introduced the statutory requirement for local authorities to establish Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) in their area, requiring the involvement of the local authority, Police, Health and Probation – the statutory partners.
The responsible local authority is also required, under Section 40, after consultation with partner agencies, to publish a Youth Justice Plan each year outlining the composition of and funding for their YOT. This includes the steps taken to encourage children not to commit criminal offences. This document is the required Youth Justice Plan for Torbay.

The legislation refers to Youth ‘Offending’ Teams and youth ‘offenders’ this language has been replaced by updated guidance from the Youth Justice Board (YJB) as part of their Child First approach to stop labelling children as offenders and now refers to local services as youth justice services, although the primary legislation has not been changed. The Child First model is based on evidence and research that shows a positive, pro-social approach focussing on the child’s strengths and capabilities is the most likely to result in desistance from offending.


Torbay’s vision is to:

Keep young people and their communities safe by working in collaboration with other services to help children recognise and repair the impact of harmful behaviour and develop a positive future.

Strategic priorities

The following strategic priorities have been agreed as part of the consultation for this Youth Justice Plan and will be the basis for the Service Improvement Plan for the next year:

  • Child First approach to all we do
  • Secure access to suitable child friendly, safe, accessible premises for delivery of face-to-face work
  • Further development of the Trauma Recovery Model (TRM) through an Enhanced Case Management (ECM) approach with Child and Adolescents Mental Health Service (CAMHS).
  • Review the role and provision of CAMHS to the Youth Justice Service
  • Increase Targeted Prevention and Early Intervention work with those coming to the attention of the youth justice systems
  • Ensuring children in contact with the Youth Justice Service are in appropriate education, training or employment
  • Swifter Justice - reduce delays across whole youth justice system
  • Hear and respond to the voice of the child and carers not only in the delivery of their intervention but in the development of the service.
  • More positive activities and opportunities for children and young people.
  • Improve the visibility and understanding of Youth Justice Service work – telling the good stories of children & the work of the YJS
  • Be Victim focussed in all we do and develop further our restorative offer
  • Improve communication between the Management Boards and the staff team.
  • Improve the quality and quantity of data and analysis to ensure the board and the service is meeting the needs of children
  • Revise and update quality assurance framework for the service
  • To form and sustain working arrangements with all partnerships and service providers to ensure that children receive coordinated support that meets their needs.

Back to top

Local context

Torbay is located on the South Devon coastline and covers three district communities: Torquay, Brixham and Paignton. Torbay faces challenges typically associated with larger urban areas: these coupled with its coastal location, compound both the challenges and sensitivities of its economy. Torbay comprises areas with significant material wealth alongside areas of deprivation. Torbay is ranked the 48th most deprived district in England, with 36,691 people living in the bottom 20% most deprived areas, equating to 27.4% of the population. The most deprived areas tend to be primarily concentrated around the centres of each of the three towns.

The collective population is 136,264 (2019 mid-year population estimate) of which 25,559 are children. There are 11900 young people aged 10 – 17yrs of age.

The health and wellbeing of children in Torbay is mixed compared with the England average. Infant and child mortality rates are similar to the England average. Children in Torbay have average levels of obesity: 9.5% of children aged 4-5 years and 18.0% of children aged 10-11 years are classified as obese. Admissions for children for mental health conditions and self-harm were higher than England average in 2015/16.

In November 2021, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) Inspection of Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) services in Torbay identified significant areas of weakness and required the local authority and the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to submit a Written Statement of Action (WSOA) to address the concerns raised.

TYJS was recognised in the CQC inspection as having an area of good practice using its Speech and Language Therapist (SALT) to assess children’s communication skills before an intervention programme is implemented. In June 2022 the service achieved the prestigious Youth Justice SEND Quality Lead Mark with a Commendation for Child First practice at its first attempt. The award recognises the strategic, operational and child focused systems, training and processes that are in place to support children with additional needs, as well as reviewing case studies and performance data.

Back to top

Child first

TYJS supports the Youth Justice Board’s (YJB) vision of a ‘Child First’ youth justice system, which they define as a system where all services:

  • Prioritise the best interests of children and recognising their particular needs, capacities, rights and potential. All work is child-focused, developmentally informed, acknowledges structural barriers and meets responsibilities towards children.
  • Promote children’s individual strengths and capacities to develop their pro-social identity for sustainable desistance, leading to safer communities and fewer victims. All work is constructive and future-focused, built on supportive relationships that empower children to fulfil their potential and make positive contributions to society.
  • Encourage children’s active participation, engagement and wider social inclusion. All work is a meaningful collaboration with children and their carers.
  • Promote a childhood removed from the justice system, using pre-emptive prevention, diversion and minimal intervention. All work minimises criminogenic stigma from contact with the system.

Child First approach is a priority in this plan as evidence supports this as the best approach to achieve better child outcomes. Much of this is explored in the research by Loughborough University alongside UKRI, Child First Justice - the research evidence base. Read the Child First Justice summary report.

Back to top

Voice of the Child

TYJS gathers feedback from children in a variety of different ways including:

  • Self-Assessment Questionnaires (SAQ) are completed by the child and separately by their parent or carer at the start, review and the end of orders. These are used to gather data to help inform assessment but also the development of an intervention plan to be agreed with the child as part of a co-created plan.
  • Your View Matters Surveys – these are more general feedback forms to gather data about the child’s overall perception of the quality of the service they received including things such as timeliness, location of delivery and did it make a difference.
  • Children have been involved in the development of information and leaflets for children using the service the first stage has been developing information about the Out of Court disposals system and processes in child friendly language. This has been produced in collaboration with a local media agency ‘Sound Communities’ and is currently being trialled with a wider group of children.

The service has recognised that it needs to improve the consistency and useability of feedback from children to improve service delivery and inform both staff and the Strategic Management Board to on a more regular basis. We have created a small working group to improve the service feedback structures and processes and we are currently negotiation to reallocate staff time to lead on Feedback and Participation for children, parents, and victims. It is intended to make all feedback forms electronic to accessibility, confidential and increase the ease of data analysis from the current paper only format.

Back to top

Governance, leadership, and partnership arrangements

TYJS has a two-tier governance structure with a Strategic Management Board made up of senior officers for all statutory partners and representatives of wider partnership at the appropriate level as described by the YJB guidance (see SMB and OMB pages for membership lists). In January 2022 Superintendent Ed Wright, Devon and Cornwall Police was elected as chair of the Strategic Board, subsequently, the membership and the Terms of Reference (ToR) were both refreshed making clearer the roles and accountabilities of the Strategic Management Board members. The revised ToR has a provision to appoint a vice chair and Siobhan Grady Senior Commissioning Manager NHS Devon has been elected.

In March 2022, a new Vision and set of priorities were agreed at the Board following consultation with the staff team and the Operational Board. This Board also agreed to change the name of the Service to Torbay Youth Justice Service to remove the word ‘Offending’ from the title in line with the Child First approach.

TYJSs second tier of governance is an Operational Management Board made up of officers and representatives from the organisations from the wider partnership. It has its own Terms of Reference, which in summary is to put into operation the vision and priorities of the Strategic Board. The Operational Board is chaired by Victoria McGeough the Partnership Lead for Safer Communities, Torbay Council.

Attendance and participation at both boards is good and the chair of the Operational Board updates the Strategic Board at each meeting. All statutory partners are actively engaged in the boards and have allocated appropriate resources to the Youth Justice Service.

The Youth Justice Service Manager reports to both the Chair of the Strategic Board for service accountability matters and to the Director of Children’s Services as the employing body for the Service Manager and all non-seconded staff.

The staffing and accountability structures are provided.

Back to top

Resources and services

The Strategic Management Board has agreed in principle the DRAFT budget set out below but at the time of writing this plan the YJB grant had not been confirmed.

Area of expenditure £
Staffing 618,100
Training 1,500
Rent 3,000
Service provision 42,800
Travel 1,700
Communications 700
Other expenses 2,600
Support to families 500
Total 670.900
Source of income £
Torbay Local Authority 248,400
YJB Grant 209,300
PCC 65,100
PCC (Serious Violence Grant) 15,000
NHS (Trauma Champion Grant) 22,800
NHS 16,300
Probation Service 5,000
Carry Forward underspend 2021-2 89,000
Total 670,900

In kind contributions

The service is in receipt of non-cash resources in the form of seconded staff from the statutory partner organisations which support the multi-agency approach of the service.

In kind contributions
Organisation Contribution In Kind cost £
Probation Service Probation Officer 0.5 FTE 22,793
Devon and Cornwall Police Police Officer 41,130
NHS Devon CAMHS* and SALT workers 64,073
Total FTE 3 127,996

*CAMHS role currently vacant

The budget has been revised following the changes to the staffing structure following the HMIP inspection recommendation to appoint a Service Manager. The budget has also absorbed the reduction of local authority resources for the two service administrator posts which were being funded by Children’s Services. The Strategic Management Board has also approved increasing the services Data Analyst time from 0.5 FTE to full time, with one day per week funded by Community Safety. This will improve the services ability and timeliness to analyse and present data to the management boards ultimately improving the service to children. The budget has been restructured to meet these costs but has only been balanced through the use of underspend from 2021-2 totalling £89,000.

The service is also looking to find a new central location in Torquay for face-to-face delivery to young people this will possibly involve additional costs which will need to be identified.

Staffing remains the largest expenditure for the service totalling 92% of the budget which is believed to be high for a youth justice service, but no national comparators are available.

Back to top

Progress on previous plan (Page 10 of the Guidance)

The Youth Justice Plan for 2021-2 primarily focused on the delivery of the improvement plan following the Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation (HMIP) inspection report in March 2021. This report overall judged the service as ‘Requires Improvement’ but within that rating there was a wide variety of quality observed. Pleasingly the service’s work with children who are sentenced through a court, which was the largest number of children at that time, were judged as ‘Outstanding’ in all categories. However, the local Out of Court Disposal system was judged as ‘Inadequate’ in all categories. The only other area judged as Inadequate was ‘Strategic Leadership’ and the report made a number of recommendations to improve the capacity, knowledge and understanding of the work of the service by its strategic leaders.

Two Improvement Plans were devised following the inspection report the first being the overall HMIP Inspection Improvement Plan and a secondary one covering the Out of Court Disposal Improvement Plan given that areas overall Inadequate rating. Both Plans have been regularly updated and reported to the Youth Justice Service Management Board see Appendix 3 for a summary.

Back to top

Performance and priorities and offending numbers

The number of Torbay children who received an outcome for an offence in 2021/22 was the highest recorded over the last four years, an increase of 18 (22.5%) on 2020/21. This includes all outcomes including diversionary outcomes such as Community Resolutions and Deferred Prosecutions (Outcome 22), Pre-Court substantive outcomes (Youth Cautions and Youth Conditional Cautions), first tier outcomes (e.g., Referral Orders and Fines), community outcomes (e.g., Youth Rehabilitation Orders), and through to custodial sentences such as Detention and Training Orders.

Offences and offenders
Number 2018/19 2019/20 2020/21 2021/22
Number of offences 179 154 162 160
Number of offenders 87 92 80 98

A possible reason for this increase is the impact of COVID restrictions on offending in 2020/21.

Despite the increase in number of offenders, the number of offences remained static. The number of offences per offender decreased from 2.03 in 2020/21 to 1.63 in 2021/22, highlighting the impact of more prolific offenders in 2020/21.

A higher proportion of children were diverted away from the formal Youth Justice System in 2021/22 than at any point in the previous four years. The table and chart below show that 80% of outcomes were within the pre-court tier, an increase of 12 percentage points on the year before. This has had a positive impact on the number of First Time Entrants in Torbay.

There were no custodial sentences.

Outcome tiers
Outcome tier 2018/19 2019/20 2020/21 2021/22
Pre-court 73 73 63 90
First-tier 19 29 26 17
Community 10 2 3 5
Custody 2 0 1 0
Total 104 104 93 112

Offending behaviour

Violent offences continue to be the most common crime type for 2021/22 accounting for 37.5% of all offending. The next most frequent categories of offence were again Drugs (16.3%), Criminal Damage (11.3%), and Public Order (9.4%).

The proportion of Theft and Handling Stolen Goods offences increased from 3.7% to 8.1% as lockdown restrictions eased.

Types of offences
Offence 2018/19 2019/20 2020/21 2021/22 Grand total
Non domestic burglary 0 2 1 0 3
Arson 0 0 1 0 1
Fraud and forgery 1 0 0 0 1
Robbery 2 4 4 0 10
Breach of bail 1 1 0 0 2
Domestic burglary 0 0 1 0 1
Racially aggravated 1 2 0 0 3
Other 4 3 3 1 11
Sexual offences 1 2 4 1 8
Breach of statutory order 6 1 3 3 13
Vehicle theft/unauthorised taking 4 2 5 5 16
Theft and handling stolen goods 22 6 5 8 41
Criminal damage 16 20 16 9 61
Motoring offences 7 4 6 11 28
Public order 10 11 15 12 48
Drugs 18 15 25 26 84
Violence against the person 40 62 40 42 184
Grand total 133 135 129 118 515

Offending profile

The children receiving an outcome for committing an offence are predominately male (87%) which is a similar percentage to the year before (88%).

As with most other areas, females are under-represented (13%) and this is much lower than in 2018/19 when they accounted for 24% of outcomes – a decrease of 38%.

Gender of offenders
Gender 2018/19 2019/20 2020/21 2021/22
Female 21 22 10 13
Male 66 70 70 85

The age profile of Torbay children has remained constant for several years but there was an increase in younger children offending in 2021/22. The biggest increase was in the number of 13-year-old children from 14 (20/21) to 21 (21/22).

Age at time of offence
Age 2018/19 2019/20 2020/21 2021/22 Grand total
10 0 0 0 1 1
11 4 2 1 6 13
12 6 4 0 6 16
13 9 9 14 21 52
14 16 20 14 14 59
15 26 28 25 14 91
16 20 23 17 19 79
17 17 12 17 20 63
18 0 1 0 0 1
Grand total 87 92 80 98 302

For outcomes in 2020/21, 19% of children were aged 10-13 at the time of the offence, this proportion increased to 35% for those children in 2021/22.

However, all these 34 children were diverted from the formal youth justice system with the majority (32) receiving a non-substantive outcome (Community Resolution or Outcome 22) thereby preventing them from becoming a First Time Entrant.

The table below shows the children who received an outcome by ethnic group over the last four years. Due to small numbers, it has been decided to aggregate data for children from the Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic groups into the BAME (Black and Minority Ethnic) group, as per the YJB guidance in their ethnic disproportionality tools.

Ethnicity of offenders
Ethnic group 2018/19 2019/20 2020/21 2021/22
Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME) 2% 3% 1% 3%
Information unavailable 3% 1% 1% 0%
White 94% 96% 98% 97%

White children make up of 97% of the offending population and 96% of the local 10-17 year-old population, a small over representation.

Black, Asian, or Minority Ethnic group children make up 3% of the offending population and 4% of the local 10-17 year-old population, a small under representation.

YJS Cohort

In 2021/22 TYJS delivered a total of 79 interventions to 64 children who had committed an offence:

  • 30 diversionary interventions (Community Resolution with Intervention or Outcome 22)
  • 20 pre-court substantive outcomes (Youth Caution or Youth Conditional Caution)
  • 27 court ordered interventions (Referral Order or Youth Rehabilitation Order)
  • 1 post custody licence programme
  • 1 Section 226B Custody

The full breakdown is shown in the table below:

Intervention types
Intervention Type Number Percentage
Community resolution 16 20%
Outcome 22 (diversionary, educational or intervention activity) 14 18%
Youth caution 4 5%
Youth conditional caution 16 20%
Referral order 20 25%
Youth rehabilitation order 7 9%
DTO post custody/Licence programme 1 1%
Section 226b custody 1 1%
Grand total 79 100%

Over half of the children who received an intervention from the YJS were also open to Children’s Social Care (58%). The chart below shows 28% had a Children in Need plan, 10% a Child Protection Plan, and 20% were cared for children.

Social care status
Status Percentage
None 42%
Child in need 28%
Child protection 10%
Cared for 20%

The large proportion of children and their families who are receiving additional support from Children’s Services highlights the vulnerable nature of many of the children the service works with. Torbay YJS and Torbay Children’s Services are working to improve joint planning and working relationships through increased sharing of assessments, planning and risk management systems and processes. Early in 2022-3 Torbay YJS will agree a formal threshold and referral mechanism for prevention work and it is envisaged that a high proportion will be children that are Lilley to be coming to the attention of Children’s Services but not yet being offered a service.

Further analysis of the types of risks and vulnerabilities the children who are referred to Torbay YJS experience is possible through the Asset Plus assessment. This assessment and intervention planning framework is used for all Youth Conditional Cautions, Referral Orders, Youth Rehabilitation Orders and Custodial interventions and allows professionals to focus plans to improve outcomes for children and young people and tailor them to their individual needs.

In 2021/22 39 children had an open Asset Plus assessment. Youth justice officers working with these children identified the following concerns in the ASSET Plus assessment. The percentages do not necessarily relate to a formal diagnosis but are a useful indicator of the varying needs and concerns of the children worked with.

Special Educational Needs or Disabilities

Physical health concerns or disability

Mental health concerns

Substance misuse concerns

Speech, language, communication and neuro-disability concerns

The chart below shows the number of these concerns each individual child was experiencing, with 77% of children presenting with 4 or 5.

It should be noted that Asset Plus assessment are not used for the majority of Diversionary or Prevention cases where a shorter assessment is used. The shorter assessment does not provide the level of detail regarding issues identified above as the Asset Plus assessment. We will be working with our data analyst to address this issue in the year ahead.

AssetPlus concerns
Number of concerns Number of children
1 2
2 2
3 5
4 15
5 15

Education, training and employment

Education review meeting are held every 4 to 6 weeks with Torbay Council's Head of SEND, Head of Vulnerable Pupils and Careers South West when the education placements of the entire Youth Justice Service group of children is reviewed. Actions are agreed to address any gaps or changing circumstances to ensure that children are in appropriate forms of education, training or employment.

At the start of their interventions 72% of the children were receiving full time Education, Training or Employment, 19% were registered with a provider but not meeting the required number of hours, and 9% were NEET. Of the 7 children who were NEET the YOT supported 5 of them to return to Education, Training or Employment by the end of their intervention.

Type of establishment
Establishment type Number Percentage
Alternative provision 26 33%
Adult education 17 22%
Mainstream school 16 20%
Employed (working) 11 14%
NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) 7 9%
At school DTO Unit 2 3%

There is an over-representation in the YJS cohort of children who are not in mainstream education, with 33% registered with an alternative provision at the start of their intervention. In addition, half of those children were not receiving their full 25 hours.

9 of the children in alternative provisions had been permanently excluded from a mainstream education.

A large proportion of the young people who the YJS work with have an EHCP – 45.3% in 2021/22.

Key Performance Indicators

Use of custody

The indicator uses case level data from the YJ Application Framework (historic data - YJMIS) and is the number of custodial sentences in the period given to children with a local residence aged under 18 years on the date of their first hearing related to the outcome. This data is presented as a rate per 1,000 children in the 10 to 17 local general population.

Custodial sentences: rate per 1,000 of 10 to 17 population
Date Torbay National YOT Family
Apr 18 to Mar 19 0 0.3 0.2
Jul 18 to Jun 19 0 0.29 0.17
Oct 18 to Sep 19 0 0.28 0.18
Jan 19 to Dec 19 0.09 0.26 0.15
Apr 19 to Mar 20 0.09 0.22 0.12
Jul 19 to Jun 20 0.09 0.19 0.1
Oct 19 to Sep 20 0.09 0.15 0.08
Jan 20 to Dec 20 0 0.15 0.09
Apr 20 to Mar 21 0 0.13 0.09
Jul 20 to Jun 21 0 0.14 0.08
Jan 21 to Dec 21 0 0.11 0.06
Apr 21 to Mar 22 0 0.12 0.05
Jul 21 to Jun 22 0 0.11 0.05

This is historically an area of strong performance for Torbay YJS with the Use of Custody rate consistently below that of the family group and national. Torbay YJS achieved its target to remain below both comparators and there were no custodial sentences in 2021/22.


Binary rate

The data for this indicator comes from the Police National Computer and is published by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). The cohort consists of all children and young people who received a pre-court or court disposal or were released from custody in that date range. The Ministry of Justice changed the methodology for measuring reoffending in October 2017 to align the measure with that used for adult reoffending. Under the new methodology, a three-month cohort rather than a 12-month cohort is used. The cohort is still tracked over 12 months. Changing from 12-month cohorts to three-month cohorts results in a greater proportion of prolific offenders and hence higher reoffending rates, though both measures show similar trends over time.

Number of offenders and the percentage of offenders who reoffend
Offenders Apr 17 to Jun 17 Jul 17 to Sep 17 Oct 17 to Dec 17 Jan 18 to Mar 18 Apr 18 to Jun 18 Jul 18 to Sep 18 Oct 18 to Dec 18 Jan 19 to Mar 19 Apr 19 to Jun 19 Jul 19 to Sep 19 Oct 19 to Dec 19 Jan 20 to Mar 20 Apr 20 to Jun 20
Number in cohort (TORBAY) 9 17 13 11 9 21 16 13 9 15 18 16 7
Proportion of offenders who re-offend (%) TORBAY 22.2% 23.5% 38.5% 18.2% 44.4% 38.1% 37.5% 15.4% 33.3% 33.3% 11.10% 12.5% 57.1%
Proportion of offenders who re-offend (%) NATIONAL 38.40% 38.10% 38.00% 39.30% 39.10% 37.70% 37.30% 36.40% 35.50% 33.10% 34.40% 34.00% 32.60%
Proportion of offenders who re-offend (%) YOT FAMILY 42.50% 42.80% 36.60% 37.40% 40.20% 41.20% 39.00% 37.90% 30.40% 40.20% 37.70% 36.90% 35.60%

Torbay YJS’s binary rate of reoffending for the most recent cohort (12.5%) continues to be significantly below that of the family group of YOTs (36.9%) and the national average (34.0%).

The aspiration for Torbay YJS is to remain below both of these comparators over the next 12 months.

Frequency rate

This data also comes from the Police National Computer and is published by the MoJ. The frequency rate of reoffending calculates how many re-offences are committed by each reoffender. Due to Torbay’s small cohort size this rate is susceptible to large variances as one or two prolific offenders can have a large impact on the overall rate, as is the case with the most recent two periods.

Number of re-offences per re-offender
Date Torbay National YOT Family
Jul 16 to Sep 16 3.57 3.90 3.86
Oct 16 to Dec 16 3.33 3.98 4.41
Jan 17 to Mar 17 2.73 3.91 4.12
Apr 17 to Jun 17 1.00 4.13 3.97
Jul 17 to Sep 17 3.00 4.03 3.65
Oct 17 to Dec 17 2.00 4.01 4.10
Jan 18 to Mar 18 2.50 4.01 4.05
Apr 18 to Jun 18 1.75 4.04 4.32
Jul 18 to Sep 18 3.25 4.02 4.27
Oct 18 to Dec 18 5.33 3.91 3.75
Jan 19 to Mar 19 4.50 3.86 3.95
Apr 19 to Jun 19 4.00 3.63 3.45
Jul 19 to Sep 19 1.40 3.81 3.72
Oct 19 to Dec 19 4.50 3.53 3.10
Jan 20 to Mar 20 5.50 3.59 4.42
Apr 20 to Jun 20 3.75 3.44 3.81

Torbay YJS targeted to perform better than the family group of YOTs but has not achieved this in the most recent data published. It is worth noting though that over a longer period with 12-month cohorts (Apr19-Mar20) the rate for Torbay (3.25) was better than the family group (3.68) and national (3.64).

The small number of children in each cohort means that this indicator is susceptible to volatility for Torbay YJS. One or two prolific offenders can have a large impact on the overall rate as was the case for the cohorts between Oct19 and Mar 20.

The target for Torbay is to remain below the national and family group rates and to introduce the use of the live re-offending tracker so more timely data can be utilised at both an operational and strategic level.

First time entrants

The data for this indicator comes from both the local case management system (orange line) and the Police National Computer and is published by the MoJ (published rate and comparators). The data is shown in rolling full years for the 12 months to March, July, September, and December of each year. First Time Entrants are children who receive a youth caution or court conviction for the first time within the period.

Historically this has been an area of poor performance for Torbay YJS, with the rate consistently above the family group and national. At its peak in the 12 months to March 2020 Torbay’s published rate per 100,000 10-17 year old population was 364. The family group was 170 and the national was 207. The most recently published data to September 2021 shows that this has decreased by 48.5% to 188, which is much closer to the family group rate of 170 and the national rate of 154.

First time entrants
Date In month 12 month rolling 12 month rolling rate per 100,000 population Family Group (Target) Published Rate
April 2018 3 0 0 262 359
May 2018 4 0 0 262 359
June 2018 1 0 0 262 359
July 2018 6 0 0 257 343
August 2018 2 0 0 257 343
September 2018 5 0 0 257 343
October 2018 4 0 0 242 366
November 2018 3 0 0 242 366
December 2018 6 0 0 242 366
January 2019 0 0 0 236 335
February 2019 3 0 0 236 335
March 2019 4 41 370.9 236 335
April 2019 1 39 352.8 226 344
May 2019 3 38 343.7 226 344
June 2019 3 40 361.8 226 344
July 2019 3 37 334.7 223 310
August 2019 4 39 352.8 223 310
September 2019 2 36 325.6 223 310
October 2019 6 38 343.7 214 326
November 2019 4 39 352.8 214 326
December 2019 4 37 334.7 214 326
January 2020 5 42 376.4 218 365
February 2020 2 41 370.9 218 365
March 2020 1 38 343.7 218 365
April 2020 0 37 334.7 197 314
May 2020 0 34 307.6 197 314
June 2020 2 33 298.5 197 314
July 2020 3 33 298.5 191 301
August 2020 2 31 280.4 191 301
September 2020 1 30 271.4 191 301
October 2020 1 25 226.1 187 205
November 2020 3 24 217.1 187 205
December 2020 1 21 190.0 187 205
January 2021 2 18 162.8 177 155
February 2021 2 18 162.8 177 155
March 2021 0 17 153.8 177 155
April 2021 1 18 162.8 183 199
May 2021 2 20 180.9 183 199
June 2021 4 22 199.0 183 199
July 2021 1 20 180.9 170 188
August 2021 4 22 199.0 170 188
September 2021 1 22 199.0 170 188
October 2021 1 22 199.0 156 169
November 2021 0 19 171.9 156 169
December 2021 2 20 180.9 156 169
January 2022 1 19 171.9 152 178
February 2022 1 18 162.8 152 178
March 2022 3 21 190.0 152 178

Improvements to the pre-court processes in Torbay have helped to reduce the number of First Time Entrants and deliver better outcomes for local children. All decisions that could potentially result in a young person becoming a First Time Entrant are now made at the multi-agency pre-court panel which sits weekly. As such no single agency Youth Cautions are administered, and an assessment is completed prior to decision making with representatives from YJS, Police, Social Care, Education, Victim Support and CAMHS all sharing relevant information to aid the decision making process.

Torbay YJS is also using Outcome 22 (Deferred Prosecution) as a pre-court outcome and this has played a useful part in reducing the number of FTEs. As this outcome does not require an admission of guilt, but a willingness to work with support services, children who had not submitted a plea can now be diverted away from the formal youth justice service where previously they may have gone to court.


TYJS has a dedicated Community Reparation and Victim Worker who offers support to the victims of crime, and restorative processes to put right the harm they have experienced, if desired.

During the last 12 months 52 victims were identified and offered support. Of these 13 felt they would benefit from restorative intervention.

Torbay is looking to develop and improve on our offer to victims by re-launching a victim satisfaction survey so that their views can be used to inform and shape our service.


The YJB defines Prevention as support and intervention with children (and their parents/carers) who may be displaying behaviours which may indicate underlying needs or vulnerability. In practice this involves a tiered approach of early and targeted prevention. The aim being to address unmet needs, safeguard, promote positive outcomes and stop children entering the formal youth justice system.

In 2021-22 Torbay Youth Justice Service has provided Targeted Prevention support to 21 children. This work has mainly been with children who have committed Harmful Sexual Behaviour (HSB) but have not been charged but are willing to engage in a therapeutic prevention programme. Children may also be offered a service if they are high risk of criminal exploitation and or involved in a high level of Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) and are assessed as likely to enter the formal youth justice system if prevention work is not offered. We are working with our partners to formalise a prevention offer initially by defining the thresholds for this work and creating pathways for referral. This may be supported by very recently announced Ministry of Justice funding ‘Turnaround’ which is focussing on prevention and serious youth violence. Limited details of this funding are only available at the time of writing this Plan.


The YJB defines Diversion as children receiving an alternative outcome that does not result in a criminal record but has an element of support and intervention, so they do not re-offend and avoids escalation into the formal youth justice system.

A key priority for Torbay YJS has been to reduce the number of First Time Entrants (FTE’s) into the formal youth justice by increased use of diversionary interventions where appropriate. (See First Time Entrants above).

More children in 2021/22, than in any other year, were supported in the pre-court tier with a large proportion of these being Community Resolutions or No Further Action – Outcome 22. Indeed, 38% of all interventions delivered by the Torbay YJS with a linked offence were of a diversionary nature.

In addition to these YJS delivered interventions, 26 children were diverted through Police facilitated Community Resolutions.

Parenting programmes

In addition to supporting children Torbay YJS also provides voluntary interventions to parents when required. In 2021/22 39 parents benefitted from support provided by the YJS’ Parenting Worker. The aim of parenting interventions is to improve their relationships with their children, reduce negative factors, and strengthen positive factors.

Serious violence

The development and delivery of the local response to the Serious Violence Duty in Torbay is through the Community Safety Partnership (CSP). As a member of the CSP and as a specified authority under the Duty, TYJS will work with other specified authorities and key partners to develop Torbay’s response under the Duty.

A key aspect of the YJS role will be to contribute to the development of the local strategic needs assessment through provision and analysis of data. The strategic needs assessment is key to developing understanding of the local profile in relation to serious violence and the delivery of a local strategy and response. The YJS will work with the local partnership to develop the Torbay response to serious violence using an evidence-based approach to develop the YJS role within this.

The YJS are a core member of the Torbay Channel Panel and offers support through discussion at Panel as well as intervention and support to young people where appropriate. The Panel considers key local processes and the YJS informs the development of these. The Torbay Channel Panel links directly to the Torbay and Devon Prevent Partnership Board where themes, risks and approaches are shared to improve the wider operational and strategic approach to Prevent across the two local authorities.

Back to top

National standards

The service last completed a YJB National Standards Audit in 2019 and the subsequent action and improvement plan has been completed. The audit will be refreshed in 2022-23 in line with recommendations by the YJB.

Back to top

Challenges, risks, and issues

The service has identified and number of challenging circumstances that it needs to take action to ensure they don’t impact on service delivery to children. A risk register has been created with actions and mitigations identified to address these circumstances.

Face to face delivery locations
Due to the current closure of Parkfield House the Youth Justice Service is using a range of community facilities and buildings across the Torbay. Many of these locations do not meet the expectations of a Trauma Informed service in terms of consistency, confidentiality, safety and range of facilities that should be expected for a modern youth justice service. The Strategic Management Board have approved a search for a new facility in Torquay and this is currently underway.
Mental Health Services
The service has agreement that the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) should second and full-time worker Band 6 to the Youth Justice Service however this post has been vacant for 18 months despite many rounds of recruitment. The service is currently in negotiation with the CAMHS to look at how this can be addressed and also support the delivery of an Enhanced Case Management (ECM) approach to service delivery.
Data Analysis and Performance reporting
The Strategic Management Board has agreed to re allocate funding from the partnership budget to increase the service’s data analyst to full time. However there has been considerable delay in managing the HR processes required. The impact is that the full range of reporting and analysis is not available to the Board as described in the Forward Plan.
Suitable available Child Care Placements and provision
A small number of the children the service works with are in the care of the local authority and placed in children’s homes or care provision. In the last year we are aware that children, often the most vulnerable and high risk of our children, are being placed in unregistered or unsuitable placement due to the lack of available provisional both locally and nationally. This has led to multiple care placement moves, requiring multiple caretaking arrangements with external youth justice services and inadequate provision that does not meet the need of children.

Back to top

Service improvement plan

Child First approach to all we do

Desired outcome
Children are recognised and treated as children in all aspects of the youth justice system to reduce offending behaviour and support positive life choices and desistance
Strategic Management Board, Operational Management Board and Youth Justice Service Manager and All Youth Justice Service

Secure access to suitable child friendly, safe, accessible premises for delivery of face-to-face work

Desired outcome
Children are able to access safe, secure, confidential facilities that are welcoming to children & have a full range of services and support needed to enable quality interventions to be delivered.
Strategic Management Board, Operational Management Board and Youth Justice Service Manager

Further development of Trauma Recovery Model (TRM) through an Enhanced Case Management (ECM) approach with CAMHS

Desired outcome
Improved quality of assessment and intervention for children in the YJS based on psychological case formulation approach
Youth Justice Service Manager and Youth Justice Service Trauma Champion

Review the role and provision of CAMHS to the Youth Justice Service

Desired outcome
Enable children to access mental health services through the TYJS to improve their wellbeing
Youth Justice Service Manager and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service

Increase Targeted Prevention and Early Intervention work with those coming to the attention of the youth justice systems

Desired outcome
Reduce the number of children entering the formal youth justice system, reduce FTE’s, and reduce the number of children with a criminal record.
Youth Justice Service Manager, Police and Community Safety Partnership

Ensuring children in the youth justice system are in appropriate education, training, or employment

Desired outcome
Enable children to access suitable education that will help them build a positive future
Youth Justice Service Education Worker

Swifter Justice - reduce delays across whole youth justice system

Desired outcome
Enable children to see more immediate consequences for their offending & improve the likelihood of positive change. Reduce the impact of the offending on their safety and education
Youth Justice Service Manager, Police and Community Safety Partnership

Hear and respond to the voice of the child and carers not only in the delivery of their intervention but in the development of the service

Desired outcome
Fewer children reoffend because we understand their needs better and deliver tailored interventions and apply the learning to the whole service
Youth Justice Service Manager, Youth Justice Service Staff and Youth Justice Service Data Analyst

More positive activities and opportunities for children and young people

Desired outcome
Use a strength-based model to enable children to create positive views of themselves and their futures to support long term desistance
Youth Justice Service Manager, Children’s Services, Community Safety Partnership and YVS

Improve the visibility and understanding of Youth Justice Service work, telling the good stories of children and the work of the YJS

Desired outcome
Improve the public perception and understanding of the level of youth offending and to deliver a child friendly Torbay that recognises the needs of children
Strategic Management Board, Operational Management Board and Youth Justice Service Manager

Be Victim focussed in all we do and develop further our restorative offer

Desired outcome
Improve victim engagement and recovery by using restorative approaches
Youth Justice Service Manager and Youth Justice Service Victim Officer

Improve communication between the Management Boards and the staff team

Desired outcome
Ensure the service achieves the correct outcomes through evidence-based communication and decision making between the board and staff team
Strategic Management Board, Operational Management Board and Youth Justice Service Manager

Improve the quality and quantity of data and analysis to ensure the board and the service are meeting the needs of children

Desired outcome
Ensure the service delivers the best quality service to meet the needs of children who offend
Youth Justice Service Manager

Revise and update the quality assurance framework for the service

Desired outcome
To ensure the service is aware of areas of good practice and under performance so that children receive the highest quality service possible
Youth Justice Service Manager and Youth Justice Service Team Manager(s)

To form and sustain working arrangements with all partnerships and service providers to ensure that children receive coordinated support that meets their needs

Desired outcome
To ensure that resources are maximised to improve the delivery and quality of services to children
Strategic Management Board, Operational Management Boardm Community Safety Partnership and Youth Justice Service Manager

Workforce development

The service has a stable staff team with limited turnover which has enabled the development of an experienced and well-trained team.

  • All staff that work with children are trained the Trauma Recovery Model (TRM), Restorative Justice and AIM3 (Assessment and intervention of Harmful Sexual Behaviour).
  • Over the last 12 months several staff have also completed the DAY training programme about how to educate children about domestic abuse, abusive and controlling relationships and exploitation.
  • Staff have also been trained in the Respect toolkit and updated Child to parent violence training.
  • A further member of the team has signed up for the Domestic Abuse Risk Assessment for children tool training who will champion this in the team and complete train the trainer.
  • In addition, Silver Bullet Training has provided additional training in Asset Plus assessment and planning interventions.
  • A new staff member will be completing the Youth Justice Effective Practice Certificate (YJEPC).
  • 2 staff will be completing the new Child First Effective Practice Award with UNITAS.
  • Staff access mandatory training through Torbay Council’s ‘iLearn’ online training provision which tracks inductions, mandatory training and required refreshers for all staff directly employed, seconded staff can also have accounts added or access training in their home organisation.
  • SEND - as part of TYJS development of the Youth Justice SEND Quality Leader Award staff have been involved in a monthly refresher training programme re all aspects of the standards and knowledge

Board development

An induction programme for board members has been devised and is delivered to all new members. Additionally, there are planned inputs at Strategic Management Board to update members on significant changes in local or national practice as well as inputs from external examples of best practice and development. Boards members also participate in the ‘practice week’ to observe workers doing their job either directly with children or completing other functions.

Back to top

Evidence-based practice and innovation

The service has well established practice in using the Trauma Recovery Model (TRM) as a tool to help understand children’s level of functioning and plan interventions based on this. All staff have been trained in the TRM approach. The service has redeployed a member of staff to be its Trauma Champion to support the development of the nationally recognised (within youth justice services) Enhanced Case Management (ECM) approach. The Torbay Trauma Champion is also sharing a role leading the Trauma Champions across the Southwest which means she has a high level of expertise.

The ECM approach is a further development of a psychological model of understanding of the child’s development through case formulation. The service plans to employ a part time psychologist to lead this work through reconfiguring the resource allocation from NHS Devon.

The service is working towards the Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND) Quality Mark for youth justice services, this has required the service to audit current practice and address any gaps identified which are currently being addressed. Good practice within the service was recognised as part of the SEND inspection of Torbay in 2021-22 which the service has built upon, it is expected that we will be awarded the quality standard in the summer 2022.

Children have been engaging in a variety of environmental projects as part of their intervention orders these have included the SEAL Project, helping to track and record local seal numbers, as well as beach cleans and water safety.

The service has seen a 48% reduction of the number of First Time Entrants (FTEs) into the formal justice system which is a significant improvement although we remain above just above the family group average, and national rates. This improvement has been achieved through the increased understanding and focus on performance data and the development the Out of Court Disposal Panel and processes in Torbay, including the use of Diversionary disposals including Outcome 22.

Back to top

Looking forward

In addition to the Service Improvement Plan described in section 10 above, the service has a Future Plan of decisions required, policy reviews and Deep Dive activity that are all intended to ensure that the management boards and the service is aware of the wider emerging issues and decision that need to be understood and addressed.

Forward plan 2022-23

Decisions, policy and planning
  • January 2022
    • Accommodation
    • Draft Budget proposal 2022-3
  • March 2022
    • Draft Budget 2022-3 Approval
    • YOT SEND
  • May 2022
    • Budget 2022-3 Approval
    • OoCD Policy
  • July 2022
    • QA Policy (review)
  • September 2022
    • Accommodation update
  • Novemeber 2022
    • Business Planning 2023-24
Reports and deep dive
  • May 2022
    • Domestic Violence / Violence against women and girls
    • Disproportionality
  • July 2022
    • Mental health and wellbeing
    • Early Indicators for Threshold Prevention
  • September 2022
    • Out of court disposal (OoCD)
    • Education, training and employment (ETE)
  • Novemeber 2022
    • Data pack for business planning