YJB pledges internal savings to prevent youth offending team cuts

By Joe Lepper

| 16 May 2018

The Youth Justice Board (YJB) has said it has promised to find "significant savings" within the organisation as part of a deal with the government to ensure youth offending team (YOT) budgets are not cut this year.

YJB chief executive Colin Allars said he wants to ensure resources are focused on service delivery for children. Picture: YJB

YJB chief executive Colin Allars said that local YOT grant allocations for 2018/19 have now been confirmed with no local area set to receive less than they did in 2017/18.

He said this was part of a strategy to ensure funding is focused on frontline delivery and crime prevention and has been achieved though savings as a result of a central restructure of the organisation.

"We have been able to match last year's cash allocation for every YOT," said Allars.

"In discussing the YJB's budget with the Ministry of Justice and in turn what we are able to then pass on to YOTs, we explained the important role that YOTs play in addressing collective priorities such as preventing children entering the youth justice system and tackling violent crime.

"The YJB will make significant savings as we restructure, to ensure that resources are focused on service delivery for children."

Central government funding to youth offending teams (YOTs) has halved over the last eight years from £145m in 2010/11 to £72m in 2017/18.

Association of YOT managers (AYM) chair Lesley Tregear said that despite the efforts of the YJB, when taking inflation into account, this year's allocation is still down on last year's funding award.

"The AYM is very appreciative of the negotiations undertaken by the YJB with the Ministry of Justice, in order to ensure that the core grant to YOTs was not reduced from the 2017/18 level," she said.

"However, as it is set at the same level as last year it does represent a reduction in funding to YOTs, due to inflation. This is at a time that many YOTs are experiencing a reduction of funding from partners due to cuts to those services themselves, as a result of this prolonged period of austerity."

She added that she hoped other funders to local YOTs ensure that they continue to invest in the service.

"Partners to the YOT are required to ensure that there is adequate funding to youth justice provision in their local area, the AYM hopes that the ongoing commitment from the YJB to support YOTs is accepted as an indicator to those local partners that YOTs should continue to be prioritised if children are to be enabled to pursue more positive lifestyles," she said.

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