Throughcare: Stages in the Provision of a Throughcare Service to Prisoners

Throughcare Map

Family/Child Protection

Throughcare services make a particular contribution to child protection as set out in SEJD circular 18/2003. They are intended to promote child protection by:

  • Ensuring early follow up by prison social workers, of prisoners identified by court staff as having been convicted of a relevant offence against a child.
  • Ensure that such prisoners are subject to an assessment of the extent and seriousness of the risk they will constitute to children on their eventual release.
  • Ensure that such prisoners are offered access to programmes to help them reduce the risk they will constitute to children on their release.
  • Ensure that the relevant local authority consider any implications for the protection of children arising from the future release of the offender and that such information is also made available to the Parole Board or others concerned in the consideration of such prisoners for discretionary release.
  • Assist a co-ordinated and collaborative approach to the release of offenders convicted of offences against children by sharing information amongst relevant agencies within the prison setting and in the community.

It should be noted that the ICM process has not altered the procedures and practice outlined in Circular No SEJD 18/2003 though staff should bear in mind the risk assessment, planning, risk management and notification tasks now have to be co-ordinated with other agencies as part of the ICM process

All social work staff have a part to play in promoting the welfare and protection of children and a responsibility to work together, in their respective roles, toward this end. All of those whose work is concerned with children and families should be alert to signs that a child or family is under stress and in need of help. They should also have appropriate knowledge of how to recognise child abuse and how to make appropriate referrals

Research indicates that many children at risk of harm live in families in which domestic violence, mental illness, social exclusion, and misuse of drugs or alcohol are significant factors. Those same factors are often salient in the lives of offenders. In their contact with prisoners and their families throughcare social workers may identify concerns about specific risks to children and should seek advice regarding a child's welfare and protection from a senior social worker children and family team. They should also contribute, as appropriate to initial/full assessment and Child Protection Case Conferences and to delivery and implementation of family support or child protection plans.

Case Study: Richard Leon

Case Study: Richard Leon

You will find below extracts from the Social Enquiry Report provided for Mr Leon's court appearance and a completed SWSG RA4 risk assessment form. There are also three video clips depicting different events from the case and indicating the complexity of work with schedule 1 offenders.

Under the Case Study heading in the Risk Assessment section of the map you will find a completed Risk Matrix 2000 Sex Offender risk assessment for Mr Leon together with the completed SWSG RA4 risk assessment form.

Under the Case Study heading in the Pre-Release Meeting section of the map you will find discussion by the sex offender liaison officer for the City of Edinburgh Council Social Work Department about his role, risk management case conferences, and discussion about Mr Leon's case.

As an optional exercise you may wish to think about how you would engage with Mr Leon and what training needs such a case would raise for you.

Case Study Files

Case Study Videos (Download Versions)*

  1. Prison social worker's initial interview with Mr Leon:
  2. Phone call from SPS visits officer to prison social worker:
  3. Meeting to discuss Mr Leon's progress:

* If you experience difficulty in downloading files, right-click on the download link and select "Save Target As…" from the resulting pop-up contextual menu.

Prison social worker's initial interview with Mr Leon

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Mr Leon video #1 Mr Leon video #2 Mr Leon video #3

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Please note that the contents of Throughcare Map have not been updated since 2009. As a result, certain of the processes described here may no longer be current and accurate. We believe however that it remains a useful teaching resource, and would welcome offers of assistance to help bring it up to date.