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Keith Fraser, Chair of the YJB, speaks about the impactful work of our stakeholder forums

Keith Fraser, Chair of the YJB, speaks about the impactful work of our stakeholder forums and how together we can shape a better future for children

The power of partnership is a theme for the Youth Justice Board this month. We are celebrating an important anniversary – one year since the creation of our national stakeholder fora.

We run six different fora which bring together a wealth of talent, knowledge and expertise across youth justice. More than 200 individuals and organisations are a part of this network, and the number is growing every month.

I would personally like to extend my thanks to everyone who contributes to these fora and partnerships. The commitment from our partners hasn’t just been maintained, but has grown, during the pandemic and I’m incredibly grateful for their efforts and the opportunity we have to bring people and organisations together to positively impact the system.

Those working in youth justice have gone over and above during the pandemic, from Kinetic Youth working tirelessly for children in the secure estate during lockdown, to voluntary and community sector organisations like The Children’s Society focusing on children’s wellbeing, to the government departments enabling us to help shape policy, to our colleagues in youth offending teams using impressive creativity to maintain support for children.

A particularly special forum, the Youth Advisory Network, convenes children and young people with experience of the youth justice system. These Ambassadors then collaborate on behalf of other children to influence and change the system for the benefit of others. I am always impressed by their commitment to improving youth justice, and would encourage you to take a minute to read some of the blogs KatyTyler, Kyanno and Jessica have written for us about their experiences.

Over the next year we look forward to continuing our critical work across all our fora to shape a better future for our children, including hosting our first academic symposium for our Academic Liaison Network, learning together through virtual seminars, hosting a workshop to tackle youth unemployment and further highlighting the work of our partners across the six fora.