Everyone involved in a child’s care and support while they are in secure care have responsibilities to ensure the child’s needs are met, their rights are upheld, they are protected, and to plan for the child’s future and moving on. In terms of managing the child’s placement, responsibilities are:
For children on remand
Management of the child’s placement in secure care is the responsibility of the local authority where the child ordinarily resides.
For sentenced children
Children sentenced under section 44 Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995: As above for children on remand.
Children sentenced under section 205(2) or section 208 Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995: The CYP Placement Manager at Scottish Government manages the child’s placement.
For children subject to Compulsory Supervision Orders (CSOs)
For the duration of this Order, the duties detailed in the concurrent orders section must be fulfilled.
For all children
The Lead Professional role is fulfilled by the local authority where the child resides.
Responsibilities for all those supporting the child include:
- Maintaining a high level of contact with the child throughout their placement
- Supporting the child to be involved in and influence all discussions, plans and decisions about what they need while in secure care and who will help them and how
- Supporting access to legal advice, representation and high quality independent advocacy
- Planning with and for the child leaving secure care
The Child’s Plan should move with the child to secure care and be the basis for planning interventions to achieve the above. The Lead Professional is responsible for maintaining this plan.
Reviews should be held for all children entering secure care within 72 hours. For children subject to CSOs, this will be a looked after review (as outlined under regulation 41 The Looked After Children (Scotland) Regulations 2009). Children have a right to participate in decision making in respect of them and have highlighted the importance of attendance and support at review meetings:
“I went to half of my 72 hour meeting because it was helpful for me. I was able to have my say and see a family member but I felt I didn’t want to stay for all of it”
“Staff helped me when I went to my meetings. They helped me feel like I had a voice and knew what to say” (Secure Care Pathway and Standards)
The purpose of initial reviews include:
- Sharing information including on need, vulnerabilities and risks in the child’s life
- Supporting the child during this transition period and ensuring they have everything they need to keep them safe and healthy
- Continuity of planning (both for the time when the child is supported in secure care and after they move on)
- Promoting partnership working between those who have, are or will be involved throughout the child’s journey
- Engaging with children and their families and ensuring they are involved in and influence any decisions and plans
Initial reviews should:
- Be arranged by the local authority where the child ordinarily resides
- Be held in the secure care centre
- Be attended by the child, their family where appropriate, Lead Professional, staff from the secure care centre and any other relevant professionals, although the numbers should be limited.
- Be chaired by a representative from the local authority
- Agree on any initial changes to the Child’s Plan
- Offer family members information about and a tour of the children’s house and secure care centre, if not already completed
The guidance on reviews for children sentenced under section 44 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 varies slightly (see Scottish Office, 1997; The Secure Accommodation (Scotland) Regulations 2013). The above arrangements are however good practice for all children.
- The initial period in secure care offers a space for induction and assessment, which may include assessment of the child’s hopes, strengths, achievements and goals
- Needs, risks and vulnerabilities
- Physical, mental, emotional and wellbeing needs
These assessments should be trauma-informed and recognise the totality of the child’s needs and experiences (Independent Care Review, 2020). Assessments must be completed in collaboration with the child, their family and other professionals to inform the care and support plan for the child’s stay in secure care and intended outcomes for the child, which should be detailed in the Child’s Plan (Independent Care Review, 2020; Scottish Government, 2020; 2021). Assessments, interventions and the Child’s Plan should recognise and identify children’s rights to health and healthcare (Article 24 UNCRC); education (Article 28 and 29); leisure (Article 31); and to promote physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of children who are the victim of neglect, exploitation, abuse, torture or any other form of cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment, in an environment which fosters the health, self-respect and dignity of the child (Article 39) will be upheld (CYCJ, 2020).
The Lead Professional should provide any required information to support the assessment process and is responsible for maintaining the Child’s Plan.
Resources for this page
- Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995
- Secure Care Pathway and Standards Scotland
- The Looked After Children (Scotland) Regulations 2009
- The Secure Accommodation (Scotland) Regulations 2013
- United National Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)
- Children and Young People’s Centre for Justice (CYCJ). (2020a). A Guide to Youth Justice in Scotland: policy, practice and legislation: Reintegration and Transitions. Glasgow: CYCJ.
- Children and Young People’s Commissioners Scotland. (2021). Statutory Duties in Secure Accommodation: Unlocking Children’s Rights. Edinburgh: CYPCS.
- Scottish Government. (2011). Reintegration and Transitions – Guidance for Local Authorities, Community Planning Partnerships and Service Providers. Edinburgh: Scottish Government.
- Scottish Government. (2011). Guidance on Looked After Children (Scotland) Regulations 2009 and the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007. Edinburgh: Scottish Government.
- Scottish Government. (2018). Practice Guidance: Custody of Children and Young People Convicted on Indictment Under Section 205(2) or Section 208 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995. Edinburgh: Scottish Government.
- Scottish Government. (2020). Secure Care Pathway and Standards Scotland. Edinburgh: Scottish Government.
- Scottish Government. (2021). Standards for those working with children in conflict with the law. Edinburgh: Scottish Government.
- Scottish Office. (1997). The Children (Scotland) Act 1995 Regulations and Guidance Volume 2 Children Looked After by Local Authorities. Edinburgh: Scottish Office.