Congratulations to St Helens Area Partnership for attaining Youth Justice SEND Quality Lead Status with a Child First Commendation
St Helens Local Area Partnership were one of the first areas to fully embrace the quality assurance framework in 2017, acknowledging strengths and assiduously identifying areas for development, then putting effective plans in place to improve practice and outcomes. By July 2018, they deservedly attained Quality Lead status. Practice and provision has continuously developed, at pace, leading to a Quality Lead redesignation with a Child First Commendation!
There are so many areas of effective practice that are worthy of mentioning:
- A commitment to professional development with the youth justice, SEND and wider teams, led by national specialists, focussed on improving knowledge, skills and frontline practice (such as Emotion Coaching, neurodevelopmental conditions, case formulation and self-regulation)
- An experienced and high-impact team of co-located staff including SaLT (Speech and Language Therapist), YJS CAMHS Liaison and Diversion Nurse, NHS YJS Nurse and a Barnardo’s Therapist who meet weekly, liaising with Case Workers so that all live cases are covered, and the response to new referrals is measured in days not weeks, all within a framework that acknowledges complex needs, including SEND
- A comprehensive evidence-informed prevention offer, involving schools playing an active role in reducing exclusions, and targeted work with local care homes, upskilling staff through training in techniques such as restorative solutions. This work is further supported by an Education Re-engagement Mentor, working across teams and provision to secure the best outcomes for young people with complex needs
- Resettlement and positive destinations are absolute priorities, securing a wide range of ETE (Education Training and Employment) opportunities for young people. This is achieved through multi-disciplinary teams working together with schools, colleges and training providers, through structures such as the OOCD (Out of Court Disposal) Panel and Multi-Agency Risk Management Meetings (MARMMs)
Running through everything is St Helens YJS’ embedded ethos of applying a child-centred child-first, offender-second approach. This has been pivotal in terms of their commitment to ensuring that they work ‘with’ rather than ‘to’ children and families. Ensuring the voice of the child and parent/carer is heard is really important to them. This is manifest in their Participation Strategy, with children and their families being invited to actively participate at every stage of statutory and non-statutory processes and provision.
Well done St Helens Area Partnership! Youth Justice SEND Quality Lead Redesignation with a Child First Commendation is richly deserved.