The youth justice system in Wiltshire has been rated as 'good' after a February inspection.

The Wiltshire Youth Justice Service (YJS) received this commendable stamp of approval from His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation, as part of its comprehensive programme of Youth Justice Service inspections.

The evaluation covered three main areas—the organisational delivery of the service, quality of work with court-sentenced children and the standard of out-of-court disposal work.

The inspectors also specifically lauded the quality of the service’s resettlement policy and provision, branding it as 'outstanding'.

Chief inspector of probation, Martin Jones, had high praise for the personnel of the service.

He said: "The staff and volunteers at Wiltshire YJS are the service’s most valuable asset, nurturing a ‘can do’ attitude with the children they support.

"Children’s strengths and diversity needs are attended to well, and parents and carers are empowered to take an active role in their child’s supervision."

The inspectors also admired the work of Wiltshire YJS' management.

They found that the board went above and beyond in rallying financial support for the service within their respective organisations.

The board's dedication to their role was shown by the addition of a substance misuse resource following a rise in substance use among YJS children.

The board regularly hears first hand from children about their experiences with the service, which keeps them in tune with children's needs.

However, the inspection also pointed out areas that needed improvement.

Despite the broad range of services available for children, work across court and out-of-court work was inconsistent.

Consistency in the comprehension and application of safety processes among staff was also highlighted as an issue.

The report found that the service needed to bolster the recognition of, and response to, concerns such as exploitation or domestic abuse among children.

Mr Jones continued: "The team and board at Wiltshire YJS are optimistic and ambitious.

"The significant management restructures over 2023 have impacted the quality of service delivery, but I trust that the three recommendations made in this report will help them to improve further."

The Wiltshire Youth Justice Service assists children aged 10 to 17, including those with complex needs and those under the care of the local authority.

The full report is now available on the HM Inspectorate of Probation website.

The Inspectorate's independent evaluation of youth justice and probation services spans across England and Wales.