‘Impressive’ Surrey Youth Offending Service rated ‘Good’

Surrey Youth Offending Service (YOS) has received an overall rating of ‘Good’ following an inspection by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation. This follows an inspection in 2019, when the service was given an overall rating of ‘Inadequate’.

Chief Inspector of Probation Justin Russell said: “To go from an ‘Inadequate’ to ‘Good’ rating, in just a few years, is quite an achievement. Surrey YOS is now an organised and focused service that understands the children under their supervision. They have an impressive range of innovative services for each child, which look to deter them from further offending at the earliest opportunity.”

Surrey YOS work with children aged 10 to 18. The majority of children under their supervision are aged 15 to 17 (88%), male (88%) and white (82%). The YOS supervise children with complex needs and some in the care of the local authority.

The inspection looked at standards of organisational delivery (including leadership, staffing and facilities), their management of children serving court sentences (court disposals) and children serving cautions or community resolutions (out-of-court disposals). We also inspected the quality of resettlement policy and provision, which was separately rated as ‘Good’.

Inspectors commended the service’s work in both court and out-of-court work and noted the YOS management team and practitioners have good knowledge of the children under their supervision. We also saw innovative practice – the service holds daily ‘risk briefings’ to discuss how to provide a bespoke service to a child and minimise the chances of them further offending.

Mr Russell added: “Surrey YOS’ work to assess the risk of harm a child may pose is of a high quality – it is a priority for them and has been beneficial to all aspects of the service. Children who are properly assessed, at the earliest stage, are provided with appropriate services that meet their needs. All of this needs to be in place for the protection of the child and the benefit of the public.”

“I commend the staff at Surrey YOS – they have shown a commitment to improvement and a dedication to a once-struggling service. They faced the challenge and have succeeded to become a developed, well-motivated and knowledgeable service.”

This inspection made six recommendations to Surrey YOS, including: ensuring that management oversight and quality assurance of practice are effective across the area’s teams, and that there is active monitoring of staff training and development needs; ensure that the voice of the child is always heard at the joint decision-making panel; and adopts a robust and methodical approach to the analysis of information related to areas of potential disproportionality.


Notes to editor

  1. The report is available at justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmiprobation on 15 March 2022 00.01.
  2. HM Inspectorate of Probation is the independent inspector of youth offending and probation services across England and Wales.
  3. The Inspectorate uses a four-point scale: ‘Outstanding’, ‘Good’, ‘Requires improvement’ and ‘Inadequate’. The Inspectorate rates specific aspects of each service and also gives an overall rating.
  4. Fieldwork for this inspection took place in November 2021.
  5. For media enquiries, please contact Corporate Communications Manager Diane Bramall media@hmiprobation.gov.uk (E-mail address)