A full house gathered at the House of Lords last week to celebrate five years of Nacro’s research and policy programme, Beyond Youth Custody, and the Youth in Focus programme.
Youth in Focus (YIF) is a Big Lottery Fund initiative which funded BYC and 15 voluntary sector projects across the country supporting young people leaving custody.
The event celebrated the work of these projects and the young people they have supported to succeed. It also highlighted the unique and important role that voluntary sector organisations play in transforming young people’s lives.
At the event BYC also launched its new report – ‘Lessons from Youth in Focus’ – which highlights key lessons from the YIF programme, using the characteristics of effective resettlement identified by BYC as a framework for understanding and describing these lessons.
In attendance were Dr Phillip Lee, the Minister with responsibility for youth justice, and more than 150 of our partners, including young people, practitioners, Peers, MPs and other representatives from across the youth justice sector.
Speaking about the ‘Lessons from Youth in Focus’ report, Dr Phillip Lee said:
“Over the past five years, Nacro and its partners have established an extraordinary foundation of evidence and learning for the effectiveness of resettlement practice in youth justice – a resource that will, no doubt, be invaluable in efforts to improve outcomes for young people leaving custody.”
Guests also heard from Nacro’s President Lord Dholakia, BYC Programme Manager Pippa Goodfellow, and Suraj and Noel – young men who have turned their lives around through hard work and the support of resettlement projects. Speeches closed with valedictory remarks from Lord McNally, former Chair of the Youth Justice Board.
Key findings from the report
The YIF experience has underlined the importance of resettlement practice being:
- viewed as part of a wider process of highly individualised change, which is about young people moving away from offending lifestyles and toward positive ways of succeeding and achieving
- focused on facilitating and sustaining engagement and participation, with young people playing a key role in the identification and prioritisation of individual issues and action plans
- individually tailored to meet the diverse needs of the young person
- continuous over time and across key transition points
- coordinated across all relevant services, monitoring partnerships over time
Download the Lessons from Youth in Focus report.