Secure care


Transitions are a time of insecurity, disorientation and stress, and leaving care can be equally as difficult as entering (Duncalf, 2010; Scottish Government, 2011). Gough (2016, p.19) “found that for too many young people, the preparation and support they receive as they move on from the secure care setting is disproportionate to the secure care placement, i.e. inadequate”. However, “the amount and availability of support networks that each young person has is integral to their successful exit from secure care or custody” (Scottish Government, 2011, p.19).

Planning for a young person’s exit from secure care and reintegration to their community should start at the point of remand/sentence and must include young people and their families. Such preparation and inclusion is vital to successful transitions (Gough, 2016).

Secure unit staff and the wider support team are responsible for preparing the young person for successful transition as set out in the Child's Plan.

Mobility planning

If there are no management concerns or outstanding charges, a mobility plan will be agreed with the Children and Young Person’s (CYP) Placement Manager (only involved if the young person is sentenced under section 205(2) or section 208 Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995), unit staff, Lead Professional and the young person. The plan will consist of:

Prior to mobility a transition risk assessment and risk management plan will assess whether the young person can commence with mobility, identify any concerns and detail how these will be managed.

Post-release plans

Young people may be released from secure care on their:

It is the responsibility of the Lead Professional to ensure post-release community supports as detailed in the Child’s Plan are in place (Scottish Government, 2011).

The National Standards for Youth Justice Provision in Scotland (Centre for Youth & Criminal Justice, 2013) recommend all young people have a throughcare or aftercare plan for at least three months from departure from secure accommodation to support them as a “child in need” under the Children (Scotland) Act 1995. This should be detailed in the Child’s Plan and reviewed after three months. Research by Nolan (2015) found 77% of responding Scottish local authorities advised this was always the case.

For young people who remain subject to Compulsory Supervision Orders (CSOs), plans should be reviewed regularly as detailed in concurrent orders.

Research (see resources below) indicates that post-release plans and supports must be:

Plans must also pay particular attention to:

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