As part of the Fishmongers' Company's Charitable Trust funding of youth justice activity in seven London Boroughs, we have worked closely with the Lambeth Youth Offending Team to develop Emotion Coaching practice within the extended team of front-line professionals, but also to assess and evaluate the systems and processes, policy and practice that exists to secure better outcomes for children and young people with SEND in the youth justice system.

The initial benchmarking process highlighted many areas of good inclusive practice, and through the good stewardship of Ludwig Nunoo and colleagues, evidence was collected, processes and practice analysed, and a compelling case made for  Quality Lead certification.

A number of key features stood out:

  • Data integration systems enabling key workers to rapidly share and use information held on different secure databases (such as education history, EHCPs, etc.)
  • Colocated Speech and Language Therapy provision, supporting the professional development of caseworkers as well as advising on needs as and when they arise
  • The inter-related functioning of a weekly Risk Management Panel (reviewing emerging and developing situations surrounding vulnerable children). a Joint Decision-Making Panel (attended by the police, YOT and other lead services, to divert a child when appropriate from a criminal justice pathway if possible) and a Vulnerable Children Management Group (chaired by Assistant Director of Children's Services, ensuring that no child slips through the provision net and that support is rapidly provided as high or complex needs emerge)

Inclusive practice is broadened and supported by a strong local SENCO network, and the linking of social workers within school communities: the latter is a strategy that breaks down service culture silos that sometimes inhibit partnership working...all to the good of securing better outcomes from children and young people with complex needs.

Well done Lambeth!