6. Cross-Cutting Themes
Although the development of new Youth Justice Standards was welcomed by all respondents, a number of recurring themes emerged throughout the analysis of the individual questions. These themes tended to relate to ways in which the standards could be clarified or strengthened. A short recap of these themes is provided in this section.
The first recurring theme was related to data collection, which occurred in all six questions. Questions were raised as to the practicalities and challenges of collecting and publishing the data (who, when, how etc.) and also issues relating to GDPR and information-sharing. Respondents also queried the utility and reliability of the data if local areas adopted very different responses to the standards.
Related to this latter point was that the standards were potentially too ambiguous and open to interpretation either due to the wording of the standards or the flexibility afforded to local areas. The flexibility was broadly welcomed, but recognised as a potentially complicating factor in how the standards could be used to build a national picture of youth justice provision and outcomes.
A number of participants suggested that the standards could be expanded, and highlighted potential areas for linkage and inclusion. There was not a clear common consensus on what the gaps and missing standards were, although linking in to the findings of the Care Review/Corporate parenting; emphasising rights and UNCRC; the participation and engagement of children, young people and families; and prevention were frequently referred to in one form or another.