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Standards, inspection and quality

As part of the Healthy Children, Safer Communities programme, work is in progress to support greater congruence across the regulatory bodies and inspectorates that impact on service providers in the youth justice system (YJS). The work includes attention to relevant standards. See the Healthy children, safer communities strategy.

Standards – general

  • Website National standards for youth justice services
    These standards are part of statutory guidance for youth offending teams (YOTs) and for the secure estate. They set the minimum requirements to be adhered to by youth justice services. They are used in conjunction with the Key elements of effective practice (KEEP). A revised set of standards will come into effect in April 2013.

    Publisher: Youth Justice Board (YJB)
    Published Date: 31/12/2011

  • Website National Standards for Youth Justice Services
    The national standards set the Secretary of State's minimum expectations for youth justice service delivery and practice, consistent with ensuring: delivery of effective practice in youth justice services; safeguarding of children and young people who come into contact with youth justice services; protection of the public from the harmful activities of children and young people who offend. The national standards are designed to be read in conjunction other sources of practice advice.

    Publisher: Ministry of Justice
    Published Date: 02/04/2013

  • Website National protocol for case responsibility
    The National Protocol for Case Responsibility (revised May 2014) promotes consistent practice among youth offending teams (YOTs) in England and Wales concerning young people from outside the YOT’s geographical area.

    Publisher: Youth Justice Board (YJB)
    Published Date: 15/05/2014

  • Website National Service Framework for children, young people and maternity services
    The principles articulated through these standards are in line with current government policy. There are clear messages about the importance of ensuring high-quality health and social care services for vulnerable children and young people, including those in contact with the youth justice system. Standards 1, 4 and 9 are particularly pertinent. These are about health promotion and early intervention, transition to adulthood, and mental health and psychological well-being.

    Publisher: Department of Health (DH)
    Published Date: 15/09/2004

Standards – the secure estate

  • Website Substance misuse interventions within the young people’s secure estate: guiding principles for transferring commissioning responsibility from the YJB to local partnership areas
    This document has been developed to support the strategic leads in partnerships, and senior managers within young people’s secure establishments, with the transfer of commissioning responsibility for the delivery of substance misuse specific interventions within the young people’s secure estate.

    Publisher: Youth Justice Board and National Treatment Agency
    Published Date: 30/03/2012

  • Website Healthcare standards for children and young people in secure settings
    These standards are designed to help plan, deliver and quality assure the provision of children and young people’s health services in secure settings. The new standards take a pathway approach, following the young person’s journey through a secure setting to aid multi-professional working. They support healthcare professionals, commissioners, service providers, regulators, managers and governors to ensure that young people in secure settings receive the care they need to improve their health outcomes. They have been developed by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health in conjunction with the Royal College of General Practitioners, Royal College of Nursing, Royal College of Psychiatrists, Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine and Faculty of Public Health.

    Publisher: Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH)
    Published Date: 10/06/2013

  • Website Health and justice health needs assessment toolkit for prescribed places of detention
    This toolkit provides support for producing a health needs assessment for prescribed places of detention, which includes prisons, young offender institutions, secure training centres, secure children’s homes and immigration removal centres.

    Publisher: Public Health England (PHE)
    Published Date: 17/07/2014

Standards – in secure children's homes (SCHs)

  • Website Children's homes: national minimum standards
    This document sets out the standards and regulations governing all children’s homes, including secure children's homes (SCHs), and the framework for inspections carried out by Ofsted.

    Publisher: Department for Education (DfE)
    Published Date: 31/03/2011

Standards – in young offender institutions (YOIs)

  • Website HMIP expectations: criteria for assessing the treatment and conditions for children and young people held in prison custody
    These set out the inspection criteria for young offending institutions (YOIs).

    Publisher: Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP)
    Published Date: 30/04/2009

  • Website Prison service instructions (PSIs)
    These are mandatory operating instructions for prisons, including young offender institutions (YOIs). Of particular relevance are:
    • PSI 08/2012 (the care and management of young people), which defines the principles upon which regimes for young people should operate.
    • PSO 3200 (health promotion), which sets out how the Prison Service in partnership with the NHS should ensure that prisoners have access to health services that are broadly equivalent to those of the general public, and promotes a whole-prison approach to health promotion.


    Publisher: Ministry of Justice
    Published Date: 20/03/2012

  • Website Guidance notes: prison health performance and quality indicators
    These indicators have been developed by DH for the monitoring of health services in prisons. Data is collected on a voluntary basis and is intended to inform existing local performance and quality management processes. A number of the indicators are specific to young offender institutions (YOIs) – these are about access to a comprehensive child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS), safeguarding, and transition to adult settings.

    Publisher: Department of Health (DH)
    Published Date: 27/03/2009

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