Protocol for the Allocation of Young People within YOT and the Children in Care/Leaving Care Teams subject to Court Ordered Secure Remands and Placed into Secure Training Centres and Secure Children's Homes
SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER
This Protocol has been drawn up to address the need for a young person subject to a Court Ordered Secure Remand and placed in a Secure Training Centre or a Secure Children's Home to have an allocated Social Worker from both the Youth Offending Team and either the Children in Care Team (for young people under 15 ½ years) or from the Leaving Care Teams (for young people over the age of 15 ½ years).
An agreement has been reached that such cases will be allocated within either the Children in Care Team or the Leaving Care Teams as opposed to being referred to Duty and Advice Team / Front Door.
Should the young person be an open case to any team/unit prior to the Court Ordered Secure Remand, case responsibility will remain with this team/unit until the case transfers as per existing arrangements.See also: Remands to Local Authority Accommodation or to Youth Detention Accommodation.
1. Admission Process
The Youth Offending Team is responsible for providing the Youth Custody Service Placement Team with assessment information regarding a young person where the court outcome is likely to be a Court Ordered Secure Remand.
If the court is minded to make a Court Ordered Secure Remand, before the court makes its final decision, the YOT Officer at Court should alert the Youth Custody Service Placement Team that a secure remand placement may be needed as well as make contact with the relevant team within Children's Social Care Services. For cases already allocated within Children's Social Care Services, contact will be made with the named Social Worker. For cases that are not allocated within Children's Services, contact will be made with the Duty Social Worker for Children in Care for young people under the age 15 ½ years. For young people aged over 15 ½ years, contact will be made with the Duty Social Worker for the Leaving Care Teams.
Youth Custody Service Placement Team will then be responsible for checking whether there are places available in either an STC or SCH and will advise the YOT Officer at court whether or not places are available.
It is normally the case that places are available and once the secure remand has been made the Youth Custody Service Placement Team will advise the YOT of the most appropriate available place for the young person.
However, if, exceptionally, a place is not available the relevant local authority will need to make alternative arrangements which it deems most appropriate in the circumstances until a secure place becomes available. This is on the basis that the remanded young person is a looked after child and therefore the placing responsibility lies with the relevant local authority.
When a placement is being sought the Youth Custody Service Placement Team considers all the information made available on the young person and advises the YOT Officer of the most suitable establishment for the young person based on their individual needs, risks and circumstances. This should include information from the local authority if the child or young person is known to them.
The responsible authority should satisfy themselves that the placement is suitable for the particular young person.
The YOT Court Officer will notify either the Duty Worker at the Children in Care Team or the Leaving Care Team when the order is made. From this point onwards, the young person is regarded as a Child in Care.
The Youth Custody Service Placement Team will then contact the SCH or STC to notify them of the likely placement, and send all available assessment information electronically to the establishment to enable them to make an assessment as to whether they are able to meet the needs of the young person. At a minimum this will include the:
- AssetPlus Assessment;
- AssetPlus - Risk of Serious Harm (if applicable).
The following documents will also be sent electronically to the establishment by the Youth Custody Service Placement Team, either at the point of placement or when they become available:
- Most up to date AssetPlus Assessment;
- Pre-sentence report;
- Post court report;
- Vulnerability management plan;
- Risk management plan, and
- Any other relevant information.
decide whether they are able to meet the needs of the young person taking into account the other residents and notify the Youth Custody Service Placement Team. Staff from the establishment may wish to discuss the young person directly with the YOT Officer.
The Youth Custody Service Placement Team expect establishments to have processes in place so that they are able to make a decision within 30 minutes. In exceptional circumstances the STC or SCH can contact the Placement Service advising that they require longer (up to 1 hour in total) to make the decision, outlining their reasons why this additional time is necessary.
Within 30 minutes, or 1 hour if agreed, of receipt of the information the SCH or STC must notify the Youth Custody Service Placement Team of their decision by telephone and, if the placement is deemed "unsuitable" provide written record of the reasons for their decision. The written confirmation must be received within the same timeframe; 30 minutes, or 1 hour if agreed, from the receipt of the information.
If the unit accepts the placement then it is expected that this will be the placement for the duration of the remand. If difficulties arise after the placement is made then a transfer may be appropriate and this must be discussed between the establishment, local authority and the Youth Custody Service Placement Team using the separately agreed transfer procedures that are in place.
Before a placement into an STC or SCH can be made a copy of the protocol agreement form, signed on behalf of the local authority, must be provided to the Youth Custody Service Placement Team. We need only to hold one copy of the agreement so if the local authority has already signed one a new one will not be necessary for each placement made.
2. Admission Procedure
Prior to placing the young person, the Duty Social Worker from either the Children in Care Team or Leaving Care Team will prepare the Placement Plan/Agreement and Essential Information sending these to the placement identified by the Youth Custody Service Placement Team.
The Duty Social Worker must complete the SR1 to notify the Child Protection and Review Unit that a Looked After Review will be required within 20 days of the young person being placed in either a Secure Training Centre or a Secure Children's Home.
The STC or SCH can not admit the young person if they arrive either without a Court Warrant or with an incorrect one. If this occurs during office hours the responsible YOT Officer should liaise directly with the Court to issue or amend the warrant. The YOT should ensure that they know the local arrangements for contacting a Magistrate out of office hours.
Where the Court Warrant or documents have not been received by the STC or SCH, the local authority will be expected to make alternative arrangements for the young person until the situation is remedied.
As the local authority has placement responsibility for a COSR, they may at any time transfer the child or young person to an alternative placement organised and funded by the local authority. The STC or SCH may request additional resources from the local authority to facilitate the placement should the individual needs and circumstances of the particular young person warrant it. This would need to be negotiated between the local authority and establishment.
3. Remand Reviews
A remand review must be set up within 5 working days of the placement being made. Ideally this should take place in the establishment and include representatives from the local authority (YOT Officer and local authority Social Worker).
The allocated Social Worker from either the Children in Care Team or Leaving Care Team will be required to attend this Review.
A meeting held in the establishment enables the child or young person's allocated Social Worker or representative of the local authority to visit and inform an initial planning meeting for a Care Plan / Detention Placement Plan to be constructed.
This initial planning meeting must:
- Determine whether a programme could be offered in support of a bail application at the next court appearance;
- Determine whether the placement is the most suitable for the young person and consider whether alternatives should be discussed with the Youth Custody Service Placement Team;
- Prepare a Care Plan / Detention Placement Plan setting out what programme of work will be offered to the young person by the establishment and responsible authority should the remand continue;
- Discuss any other relevant issues related to the young person's placement, care, legal status, and individual needs including the arrangements for family and legal visits.
A remand review must be held at least monthly to continue monitoring the placement, the Care Plan / Detention Placement Plan and to make future plans. The allocated Social Worker from either the Children in Care Team or Leaving Care Team will be required to attend the Remand Reviews.
A specific review meeting should be held prior to sentencing which will include planning for the court disposal and detail the contribution the establishment is able to make to the pre-sentence report.
The Care Plan / Detention Placement Plan will include arrangements for education and training.
4. Care Planning and Review
A young person who is subject to a Court Ordered Secure Remand is a Child in Care and all existing procedures which pertain to Children in Care apply.
Unless already an open case within a social work team/unit, the responsibility for these young people lies with either the Children in Care Team or the Leaving Care Team.
Initially, such cases will be dealt with on a duty basis and prior to the first Remand Review, the case will be allocated to a named worker.
The allocated worker will have responsibility for completing any outstanding Child in Care paperwork including an Interim Care Plan - this must be prepared within 10 working days of the start of the COSR.
5. Visiting Requirements
The young person must be seen in accordance with the visiting requirements for all Children in Care - see Social Worker Visits Procedure.
Please Note: As there is a requirement that the allocated worker from either the Children in Care Team or Leaving Care Team attends the Remand Review held within 5 days of the Court Ordered Secure Remand, the expectation is that a statutory visit will be completed on this date before or after the Remand Review.
6. Looked After Reviews
As with any looked after child, the first Looked after Review must take place within 20 days of the young person being placed in a Secure Children's Home or a Secure Children's Home. See: Looked After Reviews Procedure.
7. Re- Admissions
If a young person has been accommodated in a STC or SCH whilst on remand then they will automatically be returned to the same STC or SCH when re-remanded or sentenced, unless by agreement with all parties an alternative placement has been arranged.
On return the Youth Custody Service Placement Team will not provide duplicate information unless an updated AssetPlus or any new information is made available to them.
If the receiving establishment thinks it is not appropriate for them to continue to accommodate the young person then they must initiate early discussions with the Youth Custody Service Placement Team at least 24 hours prior to the young person's court appearance. The responsible authority should also be consulted. Any decision to transfer a young person must be agreed by all parties.
8. Medical Treatment
Within the Placement Agreement, there must be clear information included setting out the arrangements for the delegation and responsibility for consent to medical or dental examination or treatment for the young person's health and dental care.
As with any looked after child, the young person will require an Initial Health Assessment to take place prior to the first Looked after Children's Review. It is the responsibility of the allocated Social Worker to make arrangements for this assessment and for the health plan to be shared with the young person, their parents and the placement.
The responsible authority must satisfy themselves that the establishment will ensure that any medical treatment or emergency is dealt with and will consult the local authority and the child's parents wherever possible. This will include where young people are remanded who suffer from chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma, epilepsy etc.
The responsible authority will need to arrange and fund transport (except in an emergency) to hospital or outpatient appointment or for a bed watch if a hospital admission is required, in respect of any pre-arranged appointment, or course of treatment, made prior to admission to the establishment. The YOT Service will be responsible for organising this provision.
9. Temporary Release
Temporary release decisions for remanded young people will be agreed jointly by the senior designated manager in the local authority's service for looked after children and the establishment. The expectation is that they will only be considered in exceptional circumstances and not form part of any Care Plan / Detention Placement Plan. Such circumstances might include visiting a sick relative, attending a funeral of a close relative or attending court on non-criminal matters. The designated person in the Local Authority will be the Service Manager where the case is allocated.
If temporary release is agreed then the local authority will be expected to make the transport arrangements and provide the staffing complement to supervise this.
10. Role of the Children in Care / Leaving Care Teams at the conclusion of the Young People's Court Ordered Secure Remand
Once the period of the court ordered secure remand period comes to an end, unless the young person is subject to a Care Order or an agreement is reached that the young person will be accommodated under Section 20 of the Children Act 1989, the young person is no longer looked after.
The role of the Children in Care or Leaving Care Social Worker at this point will be agreed on a case by case basis, dependent on the assessed needs of the young person, the age and length of time on secure remand which will determine eligibility to services as a Care Leaver.