§ Lord Dholakia
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether under the Crime and Disorder Bill the proposed statutory obligation on the police service, education service, health service and social services departments to supply members for youth offending teams should be met by seconding staff part time rather than full time in appropriate circumstances. [HL2763]
§ Lord Williams of Mostyn
The Crime and Disorder Bill [HL] places a duty on local authorities with social services and education responsibilities to establish a youth offending team or teams for their area. Local authorities will be required to do this in partnership with the police, probation service and health authorities, which will be under a reciprocal duty to co-operate. Each youth offending team must include at least one of each of the following: a police officer, a local authority social worker, a probation officer, a nominee of the chief education officer and a health authority nominee.
It will be a matter for each agency to determine, after local consultation, the basis on which its staff are seconded to a youth offending team. It will be possible for staff to serve on a part-time basis within a youth offending team where this is considered appropriate in local circumstances. It may, for example, enable an individual to combine service within the youth offending team with related work within his or her own agency, or extend the number of staff members, and thereby the range of skills and expertise, available to the team. Whatever approach is adopted, the overall commitment of staff and other resources which each agency makes to the work of youth offending teams and the delivery of youth justice services will, in all cases, need to be such as properly to discharge the duties placed on it under the Bill.