Expectations of children and young people
All children and young people are expected throughout their period in secure care to participate in:
- Education: each child or young person will have an individualised education plan, which will identify and support progress towards educational targets. Secure centres are subject to the same expectations and inspected against the same national standards as all schools. Each secure centre will offer education in line with the Curriculum for Excellence; national qualification and wider achievement awards; youth employment and training services; and liaison with external agencies such as colleges and training providers for transitions. Under the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2009, all children subject to Compulsory Supervision Orders (CSOs) are deemed to have additional support needs which require to be identified and planned for. Children or young people not subject to CSOs may also have additional support needs. The duties of education authorities and other agencies to develop and review coordinated support plans are set out in the legislation detailed in the resources below.
- Recreational, leisure and social activities: may include swimming pools, therapy and relaxation spaces, IT, art, technology, music, gymnasium, fitness suite, and swimming pool.
- Interventions identified as part of the Child’s Plan: to address areas of need and risk.
All units are fully staffed and the roles and responsibilities of social care staff include:
- Promoting the development of positive relationships with and for the child or young person
- Ensuring the child’s views are heard and taken account of (all children should also have access to advocacy services)
- Assessing, supervising, monitoring and supporting children and young people to promote their wellbeing, protection and development
- Individual and group work with children and young people to address issues of need and risk, including related to reoffending; develop and maintain supportive relationships; and prepare for transitions and independence.
- Maintenance of safe group living environments
- Pro-social modelling
- Support for the maintenance of contact and relationships with family members and other relevant people
Further information is detailed in the secure care service specification (available from Scotland Excel).
Health and wellbeing
All units have health facilities and a nurse practitioner. Children and young people have access to dentist, podiatrist, sexual health in reach, opticians, psychologists and therapists, and any necessary more specialised health treatments and supports, including mental health supports and speech and language therapists.
For all children and young people
Regular reviews of the Individual Placement Agreement and Child’s Plan should be attended by the child or young person, parents/guardians, staff from the secure unit, Lead Professional and any other relevant professionals, and held at least every three months. Reviews measure progress against GIRFEC wellbeing indicators and outcomes detailed in the Child’s Plan (see the secure care service specification available from Scotland Excel). Following each review the Lead Professional should update the Child’s Plan.
The Lead Professional should maintain regular contact with the child, their family and unit staff out with review meetings.
For sentenced children and young people
Young people sentenced under section 205(2) or section 208 Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995: in addition to the above, review meetings will be held every three months (or more frequently if required), arranged by the Children and Young Person’s (CYP) Placement Manager. These meetings should be attended by the CYP Placement Manager, the child or young person, parents/guardians, staff from the secure unit, Lead Professional and any other relevant professionals. At each meeting, written progress reports should be provided by all those having immediate responsibility for the young person’s care.
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. For children or young people sentenced under section 205(2) or section 208 these meetings are in addition to reviews scheduled by the CYP Placement Manager as detailed above.
Any third sector organisations involved with the child or young person or their family may be involved in reviews and providing updates on progress, future planning, and preparation for release.
Resources for this page
- Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011
- Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004
- Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2009
- Education Scotland
- GIRFEC wellbeing indicators
- The Looked After Children (Scotland) Regulations 2009
- Scotland Excel
- Gough, A. (2016). Secure Care in Scotland: Looking Ahead. Glasgow: CYCJ.
- Gough, A. and Lightowler, C. (2018). Children’s Lives, Education and Secure Care in Scotland. In Gallard, D., Evans, K. and Millington, J. (eds.) Children and Their Education in Secure Accommodation : Interdisciplinary Perspectives of Education, Health and Youth Justice. London: Routledge.
- Moodie, K. (2015). Secure Care in Scotland, a Scoping Study: Developing the measurement of outcomes and sharing good practice. Glasgow: CYCJ.