The report gathered evidence from 63 youth work sessions amounting to 70 hours of direct observation of the service in action. Of these sessions the standard of work in 90% was either satisfactory or better with 37% of these very good or excellent.
Young people were found to respond very well to the programmes of activities on offer which were described in many cases as challenging and leading to high standards. Activities on how to access services and information on housing and employment earned special praise and were particularly appreciated by young people.
Welcoming the report, education secretary David Blunkett said: 'My congratulations to the Sheffield Youth Service on the findings of the inspectorate, and the clear improvements which have been made. Nationally the youth service has much to offer in its ability to make positive contact with young people, including those who find themselves outside education and employment.
Inspectors found Sheffield Youth Service to be well managed with a dedicated staff providing a service which represents very good value for money. The latter description is unprecedented in youth work inspections which have taken place so far in this country.
The chair of the council's lifelong education and training service development committee John Knight said: 'This is a tremendous boost for a service which has consistently worked hard in the interests of young people in the city and a great tribute to the professionalism of the staff. This report places all this clearly on the record'.
The service is described as already offering effective and successful provision and to build on this Inspectors recommend looking at improving accommodation and increasing opportunities for outdoor education.