Circle Opinion

Bring a young person’s story to life

Marcus Le Brocq

In many cases, the story behind young people in the youth justice sector gets lost in myriad systems and professional bodies. Information gets siloed, making it incredibly challenging for Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) to paint a clear and complete picture of each young person that comes to their attention. Without all the requisite information being readily available, and with several cases to work on simultaneously, how can YOTs be reasonably expected to discover and consider all the underlying issues?

Bringing all of the available information on each young person into one central source of truth is helping YOTs to navigate each young person’s story, using valuable insight gained across their cases to make informed decisions and interventions for each young person.

Using technology to improve outcomes in youth justice

Advancements in technology are really supporting YOTs in improving outcomes for young people in the youth justice sector. Aspects such as data mapping are enabling a new understanding of youth offending patterns, making it easier for YOTs to spot intervention points and improve their outcomes.

ChildView, CACI’s specialist youth justice management information and reporting system, is designed with this goal in mind. By providing a rich and accurate view of what is going on in the system, ChildView supports YOTs with all the latest multi-agency information and activity in one place.

By bringing together previously disparate teams and professionals, ChildView makes is easier to read and understand each young person’s journey.

Telling the youth justice story

Using a central database enables each young person’s story to be told and understood. “For me, what I like about ChildView is that it tells a story about the young person when they come to us,” says Sue Pattison, service and case support worker at South Tees Youth Offending Service. “For example, it informs us if they were released under investigation and what was attached to that offence. It enables us to record their story and its outcomes as a process and it just flows, making it easier to read and understand, meaning that we can make better informed decisions.”

Bringing together different agencies is a crucial step in telling each story. “We have moved two members of staff into each area team to support our prevention work, and they are to be supported by wider YOS resources,” explains Paul Harrison, partnerships manager at South Tees Youth Offending Service. “We have used ChildView for this as we want to keep every bit of information about the young person in one place. This means that we can review why that young person has required early help and what the outcomes of it were.”

Report and develop

Once a young person’s story has been understood and acted upon, it is vital to gather information on the outcomes in order to help identify similar issues in other young people’s stories and to understand how well each action and intervention has worked. Again, by recording all reports in a central system, YOTs can easily identify and review cases, using them to inform future decision-making processes.

“The reporting module in ChildView has enabled us to swiftly report on all aspects of our service, particularly the area of re-offending, which has allowed us to identify and characterise different groups of young people that we work with,” says Troy Hutchinson, performance systems and information manager at Luton Youth Offending Service. “As a performance manager I am able to develop localised reports that empower members of staff, whether they are case managers or practice managers, to complete their own specific reporting tasks and use the tools to support practice development.”

ChildView is supporting YOTs across the UK to gain a complete picture of each young person that comes into their services, enabling them to understand each story and focus on the outcomes.

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Marcus Le Brocq