New development strategy a "public declaration" of a commitment to transform youth justice in Cardiff


Published today is a two year plan to transform youth justice in Cardiff. 

"All our Futures" - the Youth Justice Development Strategy (2020 to 2022), has been signed by senior members of the Cardiff Public Service Board, the body which brings together all the strategic public service partners working in Cardiff.

The strategy will help better tackle the risks which some children in Cardiff face, including of being targeted for criminal exploitation.

There are four, clearly stated aspects of the commitment made by the Public Services Board to transform youth justice services in Cardiff:

  1. Making sure leadership and management is focused and effective
  1. Better use of shared data and analysis to support children and assess services
  1. Making sure staff across services can work effectively
  1. Improving the offer to children and families of services which achieves our goals

In a joint statement, Cllr Huw Thomas, Chair of the Cardiff Public Services Board, Charles Janczewski, Vice Chair, Cardiff Public Services Board and Alun Michael, South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner, said:

"The Cardiff Public Services Board endorses and supports this strategy which sets out our key goals and how we will measure success by 2022.

"By signing this development strategy, we are making a public declaration of our commitment to transform the services, and to bring about sustained and lasting improvement in youth justice in Cardiff. This will mean better outcomes for the children in the youth justice system. That increased effectiveness is also about reducing offending and is in the interests of victims.

"As partners we are using the strategy to state what it is we are going to do together in the next two years, and how we know we're making a difference, to get better outcomes for the young people of Cardiff.

"We have already reshaped the leadership structure, based on independent assessment of our working practices carried out over the last 12 months, and we have used national advice to help assess what we need to do to improve.

"HM Inspectorate of Probation has also reinforced our own analysis of the service and underlined the challenges we have given ourselves in order to transform youth justice in Cardiff. We knew that we had to work hard and quickly to make change happen. This strategy is the outcome of that work.

"It has beenrecognised that our frontline staffare clearly motivated and highly skilled. By ensuring that the necessary leadership and organisation is in place, we are building on, and enhancing that proven strength.

"At the heart of our work is the knowledge that the young people we are here to help are, first and foremost, children, and only secondly are they children in the youth justice system.

"Our aspirations to transform youth justice services in Cardiff will be achieved when: our organisations have common approaches to work with these children; the staff teams are highly skilled, motivated and supported; we have a focus on improving performance of all parts of the system; the range of services we offer is right for the needs of the young people; and the system leadership is tightly focused on making sure we are doing the right things now - and the right things for the future."

Graham Robb, the new Independent Chair of the Cardiff Youth Justice Board, said:

"This strategy has been developed with staff, young people, Council and partner organisations - so it is a very powerful collective statement of the aspirations Cardiff has for some of the children most likely to cause harm or be harmed by others. What matters now is delivering on this and I am pleased with the rapid progress made in the last two months and the evident commitment to achieving the goals shown from frontline staff through service leadership to Council and strategic partners"

The strategy states that Cardiff's youth justice services will do the best for these children by:

  • Hearing and understanding the child and the child's experiences
  • Setting high aspirations for the children in all aspects of their life
  • Working with partners in prevention and early intervention to keep children safe and protect the public
  • Diverting young people into alternatives from the criminal justice system when that is the right thing to do
  • Ensuring that work with young people ordered by courts is effective at diverting the child from crime
  • Building the resilience of young people to refrain from crime
  • Working with the victims of the crimes of young people to help them make sense of what happened and deal with the harm they experienced
  • Ensuring that if a child is sentenced to custody we do the best we can to help them make positive steps when they are released from custody


The youth justice strategy sits alongside a number of citywide plans, including the Cardiff Wellbeing Plan, which makes a specific commitment to ‘reduce offending and improve life opportunities for the 18-25 age group by developing an integrated, locally focussed, approach to offender management'. It is also consistent with the aspirations of the Police & Crime Plan for South Wales.

Also identified by the Cardiff Public Services Board are a series of outcome indicators by which the progress of the Wellbeing Plan will be measured, including the ‘proportion of offenders who reoffend (adults and juveniles) overall in previous 12 months.'

A full copy of the Cardiff Youth Justice Development Strategy (2020 to 2022) is available to download here: