Complex Adolescent Strategy

Date of Meeting:


Report of:

Deb Austin, Interim Director of Families, Children and Learning

Contact Officer:


Tania Riedel


01273 296169



Ward(s) affected:











1.1             The Committee is asked to approve the Complex Adolescent Strategy for Brighton and Hove 2020-2023


1.2             Under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 there is a requirement for the multiagency Youth Offending Management Group to produce a local Youth Justice Strategy setting out how Youth Offending Services (YOS) will be resourced and provided.


1.3             The Complex Adolescent Strategy will incorporate the Youth Justice Strategy, produced in previous years. It widens the remit to better reflect the local arrangements and approach within Brighton and Hove.


2.                RECOMMENDATIONS:         


2.1             That the Committee approves the Complex Adolescent Strategy for Brighton & Hove 2020 - 23





3.1             There is a requirement through the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 for named statutory partners to form a YOT (Youth Offending Team). Section 38 identifies the statutory partners and places a duty on them to cooperate in order to secure youth justice services appropriate to their area. These statutory partners are: the local authority, the police, the probation service and health. Additional partners may also be asked to join the joint strategic effort to prevent offending by children and young people. In previous years, Brighton and Hove have formalised these arrangements and strategic planning through annual and tri annual Youth Justice Strategies. We are now in a position to move to a new three-year plan that will cover the services relating to complex adolescents as well as youth justice. This will be a better fit with the local arrangements


3.2       In order to provide a comprehensive and cogent response to complex needs of this cohort, the key teams in Brighton & Hove were brought together in 2018 to form one co located Adolescent Service. This multi-disciplinary service consists of:

              • The Youth Offending Team

              • ru-ok? a substance misuse team for young people

              • A health team providing sexual health, mental health and wellbeing support

•           An Adolescent Social Work Pod who work with the most vulnerable and risky young people in the city

              • Functional Family Therapy

              • Extended Adolescent Service, which offers flexible support to children and young people at risk of becoming looked after or being exploited.


The Youth Employability Service (YES) are also co-located with the service.


3.3       The teams work closely together whilst still retaining their distinct identities. The management structures, processes and staff recognise the need to work differently in order to meet the needs of this complex cohort of young people.



3.4       The key priorities developed and agreed by the Strategic  Adolescent Management Board are:


              To continue to divert the right children away from the criminal Justice System

              To gain a better understanding of why children reoffend to respond appropriately

              To continue to maintain the low number of custodial sentencing and to avoid this wherever possible

              To embed contextual safeguarding approaches in the city and ensure there is a robust multi agency response to child exploitation

              To increase service user participation

              To ensure there is a shared understanding of children and young people’s substance use across the city, and there are appropriate responses in place to address the harm caused in relation to this.


3.5             The Strategy will also be taken to the city’s Safe in the City Partnership Board for discussion and agreement and will be submitted to the Youth Justice Board.





4.1       Publication of the Youth Justice Strategy is normally a statutory requirement. However, there is no requirement to publish this year due to the impact of the COVID 19 restrictions. It is likely that this statutory requirement will return in 2021.







5.1             Direct community engagement and consultation has not been a part of the development of this strategy. However the operational Business Plans which underpin the strategy do ensure the involvement and participation of young people in the design and delivery of services and include specific community orientated initiatives such as Restorative Justice.


5.2             The strategy has been discussed and consulted upon at the Strategic Adolescent Management Board which is made up of partner agencies and the CVS.



6.                CONCLUSION


6.1              The Committee is asked to approve the strategy as part of discharging the

council’s statutory responsibilities.





Financial Implications:

7.1              The financial information detailed within the body of the attached supplementary report accurately reflects the current budgetary position of the YOS. The risk attached to any reduction in anticipated funding from the external partners would need to be managed, with Finance support, within the service with economies made and service delivery assessed/re-designed accordingly


                   Finance Officer Consulted: David Ellis                               Date: 15.10.20




Legal Implications:

7.2 The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 places a statutory responsibility on local authorities acting with statutory partner agencies to establish a Youth Offending Service. The strategy meets the requirements under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 to produce a local Youth Justice Strategy setting out how Youth Offending Services will be resourced and provided. The strategy must be published, and refer to the key requirements referred to in the body of the report.


                   Lawyer Consulted: Natasha Watson                             Date: 15.10.20




Equalities Implications:


7.3              The strategy explicitly addresses equalities implications through the cross cutting theme and principle, that the service will strive to best meet the diverse needs of the residents and communities of Brighton and Hove



Sustainability Implications:


7.4              There are no sustainability implications.


Crime & Disorder Implications:


7.5              The Complex Adolescent Strategy is one of the key multi-agency strategies addressing crime and disorder in the city.


Risk and Opportunity Management Implications:


7.6             Section 15 of the Strategy addresses risk to future delivery, Section 14 covers the implications of COVID 19 and Section 16 sets out the priorities.


 Public Health Implications:


7.7             Public Health are members of the Adolescent Service Management group and have been fully involved in producing the strategy.


Corporate / Citywide Implications:


7.8              The strategy will also be taken to the Safe in the City Partnership Board as part of ensuring a consistent corporate and city wide approach.







1.             Brighton and Hove Youth Complex Adolescent Strategy 2020-23



Documents in Members’ Room




Background Documents