Youth offending cuts will hit early intervention work, ministers warned

17 Sep 15

Proposed in-year cuts to the funding for youth offending teams in England and Wales will undermine early intervention work and are likely lead to higher costs in the future, the government has been warned.

In a submission to the Youth Justice Board’s consultation on how to make £13.5m of savings in 2014/15 as part of the government’s deficit reduction plan, both the Association of Directors of Children’s Services and the Association of Youth Offending Team Managers (AYM) warned the savings may not be made.

The YJB sought views on its plan to reduce the funding of youth offending teams by £9m in the current year.

However, ADCS president Alison O’Sullivan today warned “savings of this scale cannot be made particularly when these haven’t already been budgeted for”.

She highlighted that some youth offending teams had already had their budgets cut by 40%, with the sector having responded by pooling their resources in an effort to protect frontline services. “To propose further in-year reductions is unreasonable and will directly impact the delivery and effectiveness of services leading to poorer outcomes for vulnerable young adults,” she added.

“Government must recognise that further reductions to funding will have a clear impact on the local preventative offer and on what we may or may not be able to do in the future.”

AYM chair Gareth Jones added that youth offending services, which had been effective at cutting youth crime, were now being “starved” of funds.

“The cuts will mean increased costs to the public in the medium to longer term in both financial and emotional and physical harm,” he added.

“We think the scale and thoughtless nature of these considerable cuts are doomed to backfire with ordinary people ultimately paying the costs. This is a strange way to incentivise success.”

 

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