Beyond Youth Custody

Lessons from Youth in Focus – parliamentary report launch

30 March 2017

Yesterday saw a full house gather at the House of Lords to celebrate five years of Beyond Youth Custody and the Youth in Focus programme. Youth in Focus (YIF) is a Big Lottery Fund initiative which supported BYC and 15 voluntary sector projects across the country supporting young people leaving custody.

The event celebrated the work of work of these projects and the young people they have supported to succeed and achieve and highlighted the unique and important role that voluntary sector organisations play in transforming young people’s lives.

The event also launched BYC’s new report – ‘Lessons from Youth in Focus’ – that highlights key lessons from the YIF programme, using the characteristics identified by BYC as a framework for understanding and describing these lessons.

We were delighted to be joined by the Minister with responsibility for youth justice, Dr Phillip Lee and over 150 of our partners, including young people, practitioners, Peers, MPs, and other representatives from across the youth justice sector.

Guests heard from Lord Dholakia – Nacro’s president, Pippa Goodfellow – BYC Programme Manager, Suraj and Noel – young men who have turned their lives around through hard work and the support of resettlement projects, with valedictory remarks from Lord McNally – former Chair of the Youth Justice Board.

Key findings from the report

The YIF experience has underlined the importance of resettlement practice being:

  • viewed as part of a wider process of highly individualised change, which is about young people moving away from offending lifestyles and toward positive ways of succeeding and achieving
  • focused on facilitating and sustaining engagement and participation, with young people playing a key role in the identification and prioritisation of individual issues and action plans
  • individually tailored to meet the diverse needs of the young person
  • continuous over time and across key transition points
  • coordinated across all relevant services, monitoring partnerships over time

Speaking about the ‘Lessons from Youth in Focus’ report, Justice Minister, Dr Phillip Lee said:

“Over the past 5 years, Nacro and its partners have established an extraordinary foundation of evidence and learning for the effectiveness of resettlement practice in youth justice – a resource that will, no doubt, be invaluable in efforts to improve outcomes for young people leaving custody.”

Download the Lessons from Youth in Focus report

Themes

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Resettlement of young offenders: informing practice, improving outcomes