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Children in Care: Criminal Proceedings

Department for Education written question – answered on 7th June 2016.

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Photo of Lord Judd Lord Judd Labour

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what consultations they have had with (1) the Howard League for Penal Reform, (2) The Children's Society, (3) Barnardo's, (4) the NSPCC, (5) other children's charities, and (6) the police, about the number of children in care who become entangled in the criminal justice system, and what action they are taking to reduce that number.

Photo of Lord Nash Lord Nash The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The Government remains committed to ensuring that children in care avoid criminality. As of 31 March 2015, there were 69,540 looked after children. Of the 31,820 10-17 year olds who had been in care for a year or more, 5% had been convicted of an offence or were subject to a final warning or reprimand (Department for Education Statistical First Release - 34/2015).

To improve residential care, Sir Martin Narey has been asked to undertake an independent review of children’s homes. As part of this, Sir Martin will consider how to reduce any inappropriate criminalisation of children in children’s homes. As part of his review of the youth justice system, Charlie Taylor has consulted a wide range of organisations, including about children in care who offend. He will report this summer with recommendations on how to improve the treatment of young people in the youth justice system. The National Offender Management Service has also established a National Care Leavers’ Forum which brings together stakeholders from a range of internal and external bodies, including the Care Leavers’ Association.

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