Stoke-on-Trent Youth Offending Service rated ‘Requires improvement’

Stoke-on-Trent Youth Offending Service (YOS) has received an overall rating of ‘Requires improvement’ following an inspection by HM Inspectorate of Probation.

Chief Inspector of Probation Justin Russell said: “A mixed picture emerged from our inspection of Stoke-on-Trent Youth Offending Service. On the one hand they are doing good work and have many strengths, including helping they city’s children who need mental health and educational support. On the other hand, they need to offer better services to support to children from minority ethnic backgrounds. We have recommended improvements are made in a number of areas, to be in the best position to divert children from crime and protect the local community.”

We spoke to children who are supervised by the service, and their families, who told us their experiences with Stoke-on-Trent YOS had been a positive one. This is to be commended. However, when we dug deeper, we found that proper documentation of each child, and their needs, was missing in a significant number of cases. So, evidence of this good work is lacking.

The inspection separately rated the YOS’ work in resettlement (children who have been in custody) as ‘Inadequate’. We noted that the service had good working relationships with children in custody, but that this work still requires significant revision and better guidance for case managers working in this area of the service.

The report makes seven recommendations to Stoke-on-Trent YOS, including that they better analyse and document each case under their supervision, and that the management board should look to be more representative of the diverse communities of the city.


Notes to editor

  1. Stoke-on-Trent YOS work with children aged 10 to 17 and supervise children with complex needs and some in the care of the local authority.
  2. The Inspectorate uses a four-point scale: ‘Outstanding’, ‘Good’, ‘Requires improvement’ and ‘Inadequate’, rating specific aspects of each service and giving an overall rating.
  3. The inspection looked at standards of organisational delivery (leadership, staffing and facilities), their management of children serving court sentences (court disposals) and children serving cautions or community sentences (out-of-court disposals). It also rated the quality of resettlement work as ‘Inadequate’.
  4. The report is available on the HM Inspectorate of Probation website on 28 September 2022 00.01.
  5. HM Inspectorate of Probation is the independent inspector of youth offending and probation services across England and Wales.
  6. Fieldwork for this inspection took place in May 2022.
  7. For media enquiries, please contact Head of Communications Diane Bramall (E-mail address)