Secure care
Induction and assessment

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:

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.

Initial reviews

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:

Initial reviews should:

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.


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.

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