Young offenders institutions
Assessment, planning and case management

Assessment and planning

From the outset if a child’s time in custody, SPS and partners should work with the child to develop a phased, individual plan for their tie in custody and return to the community (SPS, 2021). An assessment of strengths, assets, circumstances and needs should be completed in collaboration with the child and any relevant person such as parents or carers (SPS, 2021; Scottish Government, 2021). The Personal Officer will complete a Positive Futures Plan (PFP) with all children. This is a strengths-based information gathering tool focusing on how the child will spend their time in custody working towards their return to the community.

From this, an individual support plan will be developed, which should detail the work, support, activities and interventions to be undertaken to meet the rights, needs, wellbeing and risks identified in the Child’s Plan, via the provision of comprehensive, holistic and individualised experiences and support from a range of services (Scottish Government, 2021). This may involve a variety of services including programmes staff, parenting officers, family contact officers, educationalists, youth work, counselling and third sector partners. The aim is that each child has at least one person who will maintain a positive relationship with them during and after custody. The support plan will be shared with the Lead Professional and should form part of the Child’s Plan.

Case management

Integrated Case Management (ICM) is a process where other agencies work with the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) to give children in custody help and support to address their needs, risks and vulnerabilities to reduce the likelihood of the child coming into further conflict with the law.

All children are managed under ICM but are separated into categories according to sentence type or length:

Standard ICM

Enhanced ICM

For those few children in HMP&YOI Cornton Vale and Grampian, similar processes are adopted.

For children and young people subject to an Order for Lifelong Restriction (OLR)

During the child’s sentence, the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) acts as the Lead Authority. The child must have a Case Manager from the YOI who is responsible for undertaking risk assessments and preparing the Risk Management Plan (RMP). The RMP must be prepared by the Lead Authority and submitted to the Risk Management Authority for approval within nine months of sentence.

Families Involvement

Families can be a crucial part of children’s throughcare support and often want to be involved throughout a child’s time in custody.

The Good Practice Guidance for the Support of Families Affected by Imprisonment suggests that:

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