Children must be fully involved and have influence in all discussions, decisions, recommendations and plans for their care, support and future (Scottish Government, 2020; Article 12 UNCRC). Regular reviews, and supporting children’s participation in such review meetings and processes, are crucial in ensuring children receive the care and support they require during their stay in secure care and monitoring the impact of such support on the child, their wellbeing and outcomes. Children should be supported to contribute to, and comment on, any reports that are written about them in a way that works for them (Scottish Government, 2020). Any decisions, reports and plans should focus on the child’s hopes, strengths, achievements and goals, as well as needs and risks (Scottish Government, 2020).
Placement review meetings
For children on remand
Where a child is committed to a local authority under section 51(1)(a)(ii) of the Criminal Procedure Act to be detained in a place of safety chosen by the authority, and is placed in secure accommodation, review meetings should be held as per the Secure Accommodation (Scotland) Regulations 2013 and follow similar formats and timescales as detailed below for children sentenced under section 44 Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995. Similar meetings should take place where a child is placed in secure care on remand under section 51(1)(a)(i) of the Criminal Procedure Act.
For sentenced children
Children sentenced under section 44 Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995: the local authority must review the child’s case within seven days, at any time that appears to them to be necessary or appropriate in light of the child’s progress, and at least every three months. This would usually follow local authority procedures for looked after and accommodated children as per The Looked After Children (Scotland) Regulations 2009 (see Scottish Office, 1997 for further information). The local authority Chief Social Work Officer, in consultation with the head of unit, must ensure that such reviews are undertaken and obtain advice from a secure placement review panel. This panel must be set up by the local authority responsible for the management of the secure establishment or where the establishment is situated (normally the host local authority). The panel must consist of at least three persons, none of whom may be the Chief Social Work Officer or the head of unit mentioned above, and one of whom must be an independent person who is neither an office holder nor an employee of a local authority or the residential establishment (as per The Secure Accommodation (Scotland) Regulations 2013). As a consequence of any such review and having regard to the best interests of the child and the need to protect members of the public, the local authority may decide to release the child for a period and on conditions the local authority deems appropriate or unconditionally (as per section 44(6)(b) Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995). The Child’s Plan should be updated following each review.
Children sentenced under section 205(2) or section 208 Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995: within four weeks of entering secure care, the Children and Young Person’s (CYP) Placement Manager will schedule a placement review meeting. This meeting will be chaired by staff from the secure unit (but the Lead Professional is expected to take a prominent role) and attended by the CYP Placement Manager, the child, their parents/guardians, staff from the secure unit, and any other relevant professionals. Reports should be provided by the secure unit on the child’s progress and proposals for interventions and supports, and the Lead Professional on the proposed throughcare plan. The purpose of this meeting is to consider the appropriateness of the placement for the child, and the CYP Placement Manager will confirm the continuation of the child’s placement. Subsequent review meetings will usually take place quarterly (Scottish Government, 2018). The outcome of this meeting should be reflected in the Child's Plan.
For children who remain subject to Compulsory Supervision Orders
Reviews should be as detailed in The Looked After Children (Scotland) Regulations 2009 and statutory requirements for review of secure care authorisations via the Children’s Hearings System as per Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011.
Resources for this page
- Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011
- Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995
- Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003
- Scotland Excel
- 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 Commissioners Scotland. (2021). Statutory Duties in Secure Accommodation: Unlocking Children’s Rights. Edinburgh: CYPCS.
- 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 Office. (1997). The Children (Scotland) Act 1995 Regulations and Guidance Volume 2 Children Looked After by Local Authorities. Edinburgh: Scottish Office.