Diverse borough scores highly

Brent Youth Offending Team (YOT) is now one of the top 10 in England and Wales for some services according to a new report released today (Wednesday 12 July 2006). An inspection team from HM Inspectorate of Probation carried out a detailed evaluation in the borough between October 2005 and January 2006. Their report shows that Brent is now in the top 10 out of 150 local authorities in England and Wales by providing 90% of its young people with education, training or employment (ETE).

The report also acknowledged that the Brent team serves one of the UK’s most diverse communities. It states that the Management Board is itself a diverse group and places a strong emphasis on promoting equality and diversity.

Andrew Bridges, HM Chief Inspector of Probation, said: “We were pleased to find a Youth Offending Service that was functioning
well. I was particularly impressed by the way
education and training needs were tackled to prepare them for employment.

The composition of the team reflects the
make-up of the borough and there are links with a number of voluntary sector agencies, which helped them gain views from different ethnic groups about service delivery.”

The Brent YOT has developed a number of different intervention initiatives targeted at the black community, such as boys2ME,a project which also provides a mentoring service. In addition, leaflets are provided in the main community languages.

The report says:
“The various preventative schemes were able to refer children and young people from minority ethnic communities to specialist advisers. Assessments were good and were sensitive to cultural as well as other diverse needs. We visited one group session that was particularly effective in taking account of the needs of black and minority ethnic children.

The YOT had also developed a 13 week parenting programme in conjunction with the Race Equality Unit, a charity, to meet the needs of their diverse population, and was in the process of setting up a programme specifically for girls and young women from minority ethnic groups. Although victims’ needs were not being assessed using any formal tool or process, the YOT was able to offer a variety of general reparation
packages, thereby meeting individual needs with regards to language, gender and ethnicity.”

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Name: Martin Gavin
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