Redefining our role – embracing our new values

Steph Roberts-Bibby, the CEO of the Youth Justice Board (YJB), talking about the YJB's new values - what they are, why we have them and how they will be embedded

YJB values infographic displaying the 5 values - Accountable, Bold, Inclusive, Collaborative and Integrity

Strong values are crucial for the YJB – for our staff, the work we do and the leadership we provide to the youth justice system, we use them to establish our direction and guide our decision making. As a result of our desire to be as useful to our communities as possible, we have amended our values to better reflect the organisation we want to be and how we aim to achieve it. Our values are an important part of our identity and key to shaping our 2024-27 Strategic Plan and outcomes.

The reason we chose these values is because we feel they better describe the standards of behaviour needed from our staff and Board to achieve the very best for each other and the communities we serve.

I try to demonstrate our values in my day-to-day work, to lead by example and encourage our staff to do the same.


As the Accounting Officer, I also have personal responsibility to Parliament to ensure that the money we are given is spent in the best possible ways to achieve value for taxpayers, while preventing children offending. I want to make sure we get the best value from the grant we provide to youth justice partnerships. To make sure this is the case, and that we are doing as much as we can to support services to deliver for children, victims and our communities, I chair our quarterly oversight board which looks in detail at the delivery of the 157 youth justice partnerships across England and Wales.

Within the YJB I lead fortnightly all staff meetings where the senior team and I provide key updates to all staff. The meetings are an important two-way forum where I can be held to account by my team for the direction of the organisation. I encourage staff to ask questions (verbally or using the MS Teams chat), and I am also happy for staff to ask me questions in private if they wish.


At the YJB we are ambitious in our vision and are committed to positive change. To achieve this, I need to be bold when making decisions or challenging conventional thinking. Listening to others’ ideas and opinions is crucial in doing this as it enables me to make bold decisions based on sound judgement and the evidence we have available. I encourage our staff to do the same in their work too.


I want all staff to know that their voice is heard and I make myself available for one-to-one conversations so that I can offer reassurance and comfort. Being inclusive within the YJB helps everyone feel acknowledged and that their input and opinions are valued, uniting them in our mission to strive for inclusivity across the youth justice system, and our drive to be an anti-racist organisation.


We have oversight of the entire youth justice system and I work in partnership with the Ministry of Justice, His Majesty’s Prison and Probation Services, courts, police, health, education and a significant number of other third and voluntary sector partners including academics as part of this responsibility. Part of my role is to provide ministers with the best possible evidence-based advice. I do this by working collaboratively with my senior leadership group and fortnightly with our non-executive Board members about key decisions that affect the whole organisation.


I pride myself on being honest and transparent, both professionally and personally. I respect my colleagues, both within the YJB and across the sector; I am accountable for the decisions made on behalf of the organisation, and I am patient, passionate and work hard to do the best job I can. I hope that this sets an example to staff.

The aim of these new values is to serve as the foundation of our organisation’s identity. They are the principles that will shape the YJB’s culture, strategy, and outcomes. They are a commitment to ourselves, to our youth justice partners, to our communities and to the children in the youth justice system. My hope is that sharing them will embed these values across the system.

There are many ways the YJB will embed these values and we are committed to:

  • being accountable in our actions and our performance in supporting the sector to improve
  • ensuring we remain evidence-based and boldly championing the voice of the child
  • collaborating with our youth justice partners and encouraging partnership working to meet the needs of the children, victims and their communities
  • challenging discrimination and promoting inclusivity and equity in all that we do, as well as eliminating bias within the YJB and the youth justice system
  • showing integrity by fulfilling our duties responsibly and always behaving in a professional manner.

Read more about our role on the Youth Justice Resource Hub.

From: Youth Justice Board for England and Wales