September 2019
It is challenging to meet this target as good performance in relation to reducing the harmful use of custody and preventing first time entrants to the youth justice system, has significantly reduced the size of the cohort of repeat offenders.
 To improve performance a range of tasks are currently being implemented which will be reported to the Youth Offending Management Board in December.
August 2019 
The YOS was redesigned in 2018 to address the reoffending percentage and rate, by creating a centralised assessment team to improve the identification of those most likely to offend and deliver more targeted and effective interventions. Due to significant staff vacancies, the implementation of this model was delayed and the service is starting to embed this approach from July 2019. Trauma informed and desistance focused practice are fundamental to the model, the development of which is being supported by specialist training, some of which has been delivered April – June with more planned for September.
Good performance in relation to reducing the harmful use of custody and preventing first time entrants to the youth justice system have had dramatic impact on this indicator, significantly reducing the size of the cohort of repeat offenders. This makes it considerably more challenging to be successful in all three areas of performance.
 The latest data source (2016-17) is extracted from the Police National Computer and subject to Ministry of Justice counting rules, which have potential for double counting, and can result in fluctuations and inflation of actual reoffending rates.
 Local tracker data shows an improvement. In 2017/18 the size of the youth justice cohort was 231 children with 25.5% reoffending, compared to 32.9% by statistically neighbours. 13 children were responsible for 50.6% of the reoffending in the county. This group of children had multiply needs including those related to education, health and social care. The diverse needs of children that reoffend repeatedly require a multi-agency response and our ability to improve reoffending rates will be dependent on the effectiveness of our partnership. Actions include:-
  • Analyse the characteristics of the small cohort of children who commit the majority of reoffending to enable the service to improve the identification of these children when they first enter the youth justice system.
  • Children identified as at the highest risk of reoffending will be fast tracked to the Intensive Interventions team within YOS to ensure they receive a higher level of intervention to meet need, builds strengthens and reduces reoffending, irrespective of the criminal justice intervention they are subject to. 
  • Produce a report to the YOS Management Board setting out the progress of this operation in the December Board meeting and consider improvement actions.
Quarter 1 - June 2019
A key element of the data analysis which supported the review of the YOS in 2018 established there was a small cohort of children (6.5% = 18 children) committing the majority of all further offending (61.4%). Consequently, a new service model was designed creating a centralised team to complete all assessments of children referred to the service; so as to improve the identification of those children most likely to reoffend and ensure they receive targeted, intensive and effective interventions to reduce their risk of reoffending. Current data analysis continues to support the new operating model, as currently 5.6% of the YOS cohort (13 children) commit the majority of reoffending (50.6%). Due to significant staff vacancies and delays in recruitment, it was not possible to implement this model and start to embed this approach until July 2019.
 The development of trauma informed practice and desistance focused interventions are fundamental to the new YOS model. This is being supported by specialist training and support for staff. Some of this training has been delivered between April to June 2019 and more is planned for September and October 2019.
 It is important to recognise the current performance measure is always two years out of date due to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) methodology, as children are tracked for one year and then a further year is allowed to ensure all outstanding offences have been concluded. Further, the measure is prone to fluctuation and inflation, as the data is collected on a quarterly basis and as such the same child can offend in different quarters and be counted more than once. Local tracker data provides more up to date and accurate performance data for West Sussex YOS, indicating a reoffending percentage of 25.5% and a reoffending rate of 2.95 offences per reoffender.
 The factors which contribute to offending by children are complex; often typified by both intra and extra familial risks which require a comprehensive multi-agency response. This is particularly the case for the small cohort of children who commit the majority of reoffending. Effectively engaging and intervening in the lives of these children and their families is challenging and requires time in order to build trusting and supportive relationships, which are the bedrock to facilitating change. Consequently, reducing the reoffending percentage and rate by children in West Sussex requires a long term response from a wide range of agencies not just the YOS.
Quarter 4 - March 2019
Between Q3 to Q4 there has been a reduction in reoffending percentage from 36.9% to 35.9% and a significant reduction in the reoffending rate from 4.21 to 3.11. In terms of our statistical neighbours, this places West Sussex YOS in Quartile 3 for the percentage of reoffending and Quartile 2 for the rate of reoffending. The year-end annual figures place West Sussex in Quartile 3 for both performance measures, indicating an average reoffending percentage of 37.2% and an average reoffending rate of 4.12. When comparing West Sussex to the Sussex PCC, South East and National regions, the service consistently performs better in terms of reoffending percentage but worse in terms of the reoffending rate. However, the reduction in the reoffending rate in Q4 means West Sussex is performing better in this measure than previously. The latest local tracker data, which provides a more current and accurate measure, indicates the reoffending percentage for West Sussex YOS is 24.3% and the rate of reoffending at 3.02. This suggests that West Sussex YOS is on track to reach the proposed target in March 2022.
West Sussex YOS underwent a service review in 2018, part of which focused on developing a service structure which could address and reduce the percentage and rate of reoffending. Significant staff vacancies from Sept 2018 to March 2019 impacted on the service’s ability to deliver the new operating model. This has now been resolved and a relaunch of the new service model will take place in April 2019. The new service model was developed to address reoffending rates by identifying those children most likely to offend and deliver more effective interventions. Central to the model is the development of trauma informed practice, which is recognised nationally as being effective at reducing reoffending in children with the most complex and challenging behaviours. Specialist attachment and trauma training is being delivered to staff through 2019 to enhance and embed this practice. Alongside this is the development of a contextual safeguarding approach, as well as further developing the use of restorative justice and enhancing our strength based desistance practice. An analytical report on the characteristics of the children most likely to offend, was finalised in Jan 2019. This report is being reviewed to assess what further practice developments can be put in place to reduce the reoffending percentage and rate of the children engaged with the service. However, it should be acknowledged that due to the methodology of the data collection, these changes are unlikely to have an impact on the performance figures for two years.   
Quarter 3 - December 2018
There has been an increase in the reoffending percentage from 33.8% in Quarter 2 to 36.9% for Quarter 3. In contrast there has been a decrease in the reoffending rate from 4.23 to 4.21. This places West Sussex YOS in Quartile 3 for both of these measures. Comparatively, West Sussex is performing better in terms our reoffending percentage than the South East region (39%), the Sussex PCC area (40.4%) and nationally (40.4%), although worse than our statistical neighbours (35.1%). In terms of the reoffending rate our performance is below the Sussex PCC areas (3.89), our statistical neighbours (3.80) and nationally (3.98), but better than the South East region (4.39). Local tracker data, which provides a more current and accurate measure, indicates the reoffending percentage for West Sussex YOS is 22% and the rate of reoffending at 2.68.
 Significant staff vacancies which have impacted on the service’s ability to deliver a new operating model have now been filled. A relaunch of the new service model will take place in April 2019. This model was developed to address reoffending rates by identifying those children most likely to offend and deliver more effective interventions. Central to this is the development of trauma informed approaches, which are recognised nationally as being effective in reduce reoffending in children with the most complex and challenging behaviours. Further attachment and trauma training is being delivered through this year to enhance and embed this practice. An analytical report on the characteristics of those children most likely to offend, was finalised in Jan 2019. This report will now be reviewed to assess what practice developments can be put in place to reduce the reoffending percentage and rate of the children engaged with the service. However, it should be acknowledged that due to the methodology of the data collection, these changes are unlikely to have an impact on the performance figures for two years.   
Quarter 2 - September 2018 performance
There has been a significant reduction in the percentage reoffending from 41.2% in Quarter 1 to 33.8% for Quarter 2. This places West Sussex Youth Offending Service (YOS) below the average for our statistical neighbours, the South East region, the Sussex PCC areas and national percentage. As such West Sussex is in the second quartile, so achieving our target. There has also been a reduction in the reoffending rate per reoffender from 4.7 in Quarter 1 to 4.23 in Quarter 2. However, West Sussex remains above our regional and statistical neighbours, as well as the national average. This places West Sussex in the third quartile of our statistical neighbours and below the proposed target for March 2022. Local tracker data, which provides a more current and accurate picture, indicates the percentage reoffending is 22% and the rate per reoffender as 2.68. However, there continues to be a small cohort of children (3.1%) committing the majority of further offending (36.6%).
Analytical work on the characteristics of the small reoffending cohort has just been completed. This will be reviewed to establish if there should be any further changes or adaptations to the operation of the YOS, so as to further improve our reoffending percentage and rate. The service is in the process of embedding a new operating model which is focused on identifying those children most likely to reoffend and providing more effective interventions. Central to this is the use of trauma informed approaches, given the increasing evidence regarding the effectiveness of this approach to address reoffending by children with the most complex and challenging behaviours.
Quarter 1 - June 2018 performance
The current Ministry of Justice (MoJ) methodology for measuring reoffending is based on a 3 month cohort who are tracked for a 12 month period.  The most recent data available is for children and young people, aged 10 to 17, who received a substantive outcome (Youth Caution/Youth Conditional Caution or Court Order) or who were released on a custodial licence between 1st April 2016 and 30th June 2016. There is a delay of a year before data is made available due to the need to wait for outcomes for any offences committed during the year they are tracked. The fact this data is collected on a three month basis can lead to a fluctuation and inflation of the actual reoffending rates, as the same child or young person could reoffend in different quarters and as such be counted more than once.
 Based on the current MoJ data, the percentage children and young people in West Sussex reoffending is lower than the rest of Sussex, the South East and nationally, but is higher than those areas classed as our statistical neighbours. West Sussex continues to have a higher reoffending rate per reoffender than our comparators. Both the percentage and rate have increased for this cohort compared to the Jan – Mar 16 cohort, where reoffending was at 35.1% and the rate was 4. However, this was a decrease from the Oct - Dec 15 cohort, demonstrating the fluctuating nature of this measure. In addition to the MoJ data, local tracker data is being used to collect an annual reoffending rate, in which children and young people are only included in the cohort once. This provides more recent and accurate data. The most recent local tracker data indicates that 6.3% of the YOS caseload, which is 18 children and young people, are committing 59.3% of all further offending. This data also indicates that the average number of re-offences per reoffender is 3.44 with the majority of children and young people known to the YOS, 74.6%, not reoffending. Both data sets maintain the current analysis and trend that the majority of reoffending is committed of a small cohort of complex children and young people, the majority of which have had no or limited previous convictions. This suggests that those committing a high number of further offences do not have long criminal histories within the Youth Justice System.
 To address this trend, further analysis is currently being undertaken to identify the key characteristics of this small cohort, so improving the ability of the YOS to identify, assess and intervene with the children and young people who are most likely to reoffend at an earlier stage. The operation of the YOS has been reviewed, resulting in the creation of a centralised, specialist team who will complete all initial assessments and make recommendations as to the most suitable interventions to reduce reoffending and harm in the community. Individually tailored programmes will build on current strengths whilst responding to the child or young person’s needs and risk, rather than the work with the child being determined by the type of intervention or Order they are subject to. The service is also developing a trauma informed approach to working with these children and their families, given the increasing national evidence as to the effectiveness of this approach.  
Quarter 4 - March 2018 performance
The current Ministry of Justice (MoJ) methodology for measuring reoffending is based on a 3 month cohort who are then tracked for a further 12 month period.  The most recent data available is for children and young people aged 10 to 17 who received a substantive outcome (Youth Caution/Conditional Caution or Court Order) or who were released on Licence between 1st Jan 2016 and 31st March 2016. There is a delay of a year before data is made available due to the need to wait for outcomes for any offences committed during the year they are tracked. Only offences resulting in substantive outcomes are included in the reoffending data. The fact this data is collected on a three month basis can lead to a fluctuation and inflation of the actual reoffending rates, as the same child or young person could reoffend in different quarters and as such be counted more than once.
Based on the current MoJ data, West Sussex continues to have a higher reoffending rate per reoffender than our comparators, but the percentage reoffending is much lower, continuing to suggest a smaller, but more prolific, cohort of children who offend.  Both the percentage and rate have declined for this cohort compared to the Oct 2015 to December 2015 cohort (which was a rate of 4.27 and 37.3% reoffending). In addition to the MoJ data, local tracker data is being used to collect an annual reoffending rate, in which children and young people are only included in the cohort once. This provides more recent and accurate data. The local tracker data is also reflecting this trend of a small cohort of complex and challenging children and young people, 4.2% of the YOS caseload, who commit 50% of the reoffending. Further, the majority of these children and young people had no previous convictions suggesting that not all those committing a high number of further offences have long criminal histories within the Youth Justice System.
 To address this trend, further analysis is planned to identify the key characteristics of this small cohort so as to enhance the service’s ability to identify, assess and intervene with the children and young people who are most likely to reoffend at an earlier stage, in order to try to divert them from offending and causing harm to the community. Individually tailored intervention programmes are developed to build on current strengths whilst responding to the child or young person’s needs and risk, rather than intervention being dictated by the type of intervention or Order the child is subject to. The service is also begin to develop a trauma informed approach to working with these children and their families, as there is increasing national evidence as to the effectiveness of this approach

Quarter 3 - December 2017 performance

The most recent data available is for young people aged 10 to 17 who received a substantive outcome (Youth Caution/Conditional Caution or Court Order) or who were released on Licence between 1 October 2015 and 31 December 2015 and have been tracked for further offending for 12 months.

Local tracker data is being used to collect an annual reoffending rate. To date this has demonstrated a small cohort of children and young people (4.6%) are responsible for the majority of reoffences (51.2%), committing on average 3.25 offences. Further, the majority of these children and young people had no previous convictions suggesting that not all those committing a high number of further offences have long criminal histories within the Youth Justice System.

Background
The current Ministry of Justice (MoJ) methodology for measuring reoffending is based on a 3 month cohort who are then tracked for a further 12 month period. Reoffending data is based on the number of children and young people, aged 10 to 17, who receive a substantive outcome, e.g. a Youth Caution, Youth Conditional Caution, Court Order, or who were released on a custodial licence during the relevant quarter. Only offences resulting in substantive outcomes are included in the reoffending data. The data produced indicates the percentage of children and young people who reoffend, as well as a reoffending rate. The reoffending rate is the average number of new offences committed per child or young person that reoffends. This data is always two years out of date as the children are tracked for one year and then it is necessary to wait a further year to ensure all offences have received an outcome. As this data is collected on a quarterly basis, this can lead to a fluctuation and inflation of the actual reoffending rates, as the same child or young person could reoffend in different quarters and as such be counted more than once. In addition to the MoJ figures, local tracker data is being used to collect an annual reoffending percentage and rate for the Youth Offending Service. In this case children and young people are only including in the cohort once and tracked over the course of a year. This provides more recent and accurate data and should be considered and contrasted with the MoJ performance data.