Tuesday, 19 January 2016

A quarter of youth justice work with placed children. Plaid Cymru's Police Commissioner candidate calls for changes to Youth Justice funding in Wales

                                                                                                                                                 









Plaid Cymru Press Release

A quarter of Wrexham Council’s work with youngsters in trouble is with children placed in care homes who come from outside the borough.

The astonishing figure was revealed in a meeting between Councillor Arfon Jones and Wrexham’s Youth Justice Service.

Cllr Jones, who is Plaid Cymru’s Police Commissioner candidate for North Wales, expressed concern about the cost to Welsh local authorities of providing services to children who are in the care of other local authorities but who are placed in homes in Wales.

He said: "In Wrexham, 25% of the workload of the Youth Justice Service there is to children who are placed in care homes in Wrexham from outside the County Borough. This is a considerable financial burden on local authorities who have a number of private children's homes and there needs to be a system in place so that the local authorities responsible are recharged the cost of providing services."

Cllr Jones, a former police inspector, called for changes to the way the six Youth Justice Services in North Wales are funded.

"At present the Youth Justice Services are the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice and are funded via a central grant, a Welsh Government grant, Local Authority revenue and contributions from Probation, Police, Health and the Police Commissioner. Councillor Jones said, "I have met with the Youth Justice Service in Wrexham and they do excellent work in diverting young people away from crime under what are trying and difficult financial settlements not helped by the fragmented nature of the funding sources which are constantly being cut back making future planning of better services nigh on impossible."

“Youth Justice Services in Wales needs ONE source of funding and to facilitate this, Youth Justice needs to be devolved to the Welsh Government as soon as possible and it should grant fund the Local Authorities Youth Justice Services directly."

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