Responding to the report published today by HM Inspectorate of Probation about Cardiff Youth Offending Service, Professor Sally Holland, Children’s Commissioner for Wales, said:
“It is unacceptable that every element of a service whose main purpose is to protect and support some of the most vulnerable children and young people is failing. I am concerned that children may have missed out on the opportunities to access effective support, due to the gaps in service provision, in particular appropriate health care and speech and language support.
“Improvements are needed across all services involved in the delivery of Cardiff’s Youth Offending Services. I will be writing to the Cardiff Youth Offending Service Management Board to seek urgent assurances that the safety and wellbeing needs of those in its care are being met, and to seek confidence in its improvement plan going forward. I will also be writing to South Wales Police regarding the on-going training needs of YOS Police Officers and will be raising my concerns directly with Cardiff and Vale Health Board on the lack of adequate health provision for this vulnerable group of children.
“Yet again I find myself having to write to the Youth Justice Board Cymru, as the body responsible for monitoring the youth justice system in Wales, to determine how this situation was allowed to materialise over a number of years and how they intend to support and monitor the response to this highly negative inspection report.”