The Quality of Delivery of Out-of-Court Disposals in Youth Justice – HMIP (September 2021)

Summary:  Attached is the link to HMIP’s academic insight briefing concerned with the quality of delivery of out-of-court disposals in youth justice. 


HM Inspectorate of Probation have published the quality of delivery of out-of-court disposals in youth justice. This Academic Insight paper focuses on the quality of delivery by youth offending teams in relation to these out-of-court disposals, including analysis of variations in quality and identification of enablers and barriers.

Across YOT inspections, HMIP found considerable variation in the quality of work with children subject to out-of-court disposals. We found that the best performing YOTs tended to have a robust framework for managing out-of-court disposals, where staff understood their roles and that of their partners and where inter-agency communication was strong. Skilled and engaged board members from other agencies were often able to facilitate effective multi-agency working. Looking across the cases examined by our inspectors, common enablers and barriers to effective delivery of out-of-court disposals were identified.

The enablers highlight the importance of: (i) early YOT involvement in decision making; (ii) utilising multiple sources of information to build a complete picture of the child; (iii) ensuring that plans are proportionate and build upon strengths; (iv) coordinating delivery across agencies; and (v) ensuring flexibility in delivery to maximise engagement.