A YOUTH offending service has been praised for the work it has been doing with children aged between 10 and 17.

Brighton and Hove's youth offending service (YOS) has been rated outstanding by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Probation, a statutory body and independent UK inspectorate funded by the Ministry of Justice.

The inspection took place in April 2021 and looked at 12 aspects of the service's work, and it was then awarded the outstanding rating in every category.

Brighton and Hove City Council's youth offending team works with children who are serving court sentences or who have come to the attention of the police because of their behaviour.

Nationally, the city has the highest number of children living in households where domestic abuse, mental ill-health or substance misuse are present, 191.5 per 1,000 children, compared with 182.1 across the UK.

The Argus: YOUTH offending service has been praised for its workYOUTH offending service has been praised for its work

A large proportion of serious and violent crime is linked to the drug trade and county lines activity, and the associated exploitation issues are one of the biggest challenges for services working with vulnerable children in the city.

The council's service collaborates with agencies to provide plans for each child in the criminal justice system.

Inspectors found that children subject to court sentences were being well-supported.

The children that were subject to cautions or community sentences and there is said to be an extensive range of support on offer.

HM Inspectorate of Probation's director of operations, Marc Baker, said: "The overall rating of outstanding is deserved and is the benchmark of what youth offending services can achieve.

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"The service is led in such a positive way that it impacts every aspect of their work, from resourcing, to organisation, to their contact with each child under their supervision.

"Each child is treated as an individual at Brighton and Hove YOS – this is vital in helping children move away from offending.

"Victims are equally supported, and there is a strong emphasis on their role within rehabilitation.

"Youth justice staff understand how to manage children with complex needs, and tailor their skills accordingly – a desirable balance, promoting high-quality casework practice."

The report identified that the way the service is led and resourced enables a substantial approach to work positively with children.

It also highlighted the team's full range of skills, knowledge and experience in developing trusting and supportive relationships with children and their families.

Chairwoman of the council's children, young people and skills committee, Hannah Clare, said: "The 'Outstanding' rating is a huge credit to the youth offending team and their work with children, young people and their families to reduce and prevent youth crime.

"They received the highest score possible – something which doesn't happen often and something that we can be incredibly proud of.

"This is such an important service for our city and for the outcomes of young people who need robust support when things go wrong.

"It's a real testament to the hard work and dedication of the staff who work day-to-day in this service and demonstrates their will to make a positive difference. We're hugely proud and thankful to them all."