'Centre of excellence' to share youth justice best practice

By Gabriella Jozwiak

| 20 April 2017

A youth offending team has linked up with a private technology firm to launch a centre of excellence to help spread best practice in youth justice work across England and Wales.

A youth justice "centre of excellence" will be set up by technology firm CACI and the combined youth offending service covering Cheshire West, Halton & Warrington.

The combined youth offending service for Cheshire West, Halton & Warrington will work with information technology supplier CACI with the aim of making software systems easier to use, and developing new ways of supporting innovative youth justice projects.

New products created through the partnership will be used and tested by the four local authority areas making up the combined service.

Case studies and reports from the projects will then be shared with youth offending teams across England and Wales.

The centre's first focus will be to develop new modules for CACI's existing youth justice information platform Childview, which allows agencies such as schools or health services to access information they need about a case, so it can be used by additional services involved with youth justice. 

In the future, the two organisations plan to win joint funding to design and test technologies that could help with other projects including multi-agency initiatives such as youth liaison and restorative justice. 

CACI strategic director for children and young people's services Marc Radley said the creation of a centre of excellence would ensure his company could "generate and respond quickly to opportunities by working closely with the Cheshire team to design and build systems that support new ways of working in the real world". 

Gareth Jones, who leads the combined youth offending service, said the more formal working arrangement would mean the organisation had strong technology support on hand for future work.

"We look forward to sharing our learnings with the industry and ultimately improving the lives of young people and their families and communities," he said.

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