Youth Custody

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 29th July 2019.

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Photo of Paul Farrelly Paul Farrelly Labour, Newcastle-under-Lyme

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made the potential merits of requiring young people entering the secure system to undertake an individual assessment to ensure that (a) vulnerabilities and (b) trigger points are (i) identified and (ii) regularly reviewed in an individual care plan.

Photo of Edward Argar Edward Argar The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Professionals undertake a number of assessments on Children and Young People (CYP) when they enter the Youth Secure Estate in order to identify and review any vulnerabilities they have.

The Comprehensive Health Assessment Tool (CHAT) provides screening and assessment for all CYP across the youth justice system, allowing for early identification of needs and requirements to support their care. An initial assessment is made before the first night in custody to assess any immediate needs or requirements, with a wide range of vulnerabilities and triggers screened for. This is followed by further physical and mental health assessments.

In addition, the Youth Custody Service use information provided by the Youth Offending Team to determine suitability for a particular placement into either a Secure Children’s Home, a Secure Training Centre or a Young Offender Institution. When making this determination a wide range of factors are considered, including, but not limited to, risk of harm to self and others, welfare, and medical history, including mental health.

As well as this we are working closely with the NHS on ‘Secure Stairs’, an integrated approach to strengthen the provision of health care to address the needs of young people holistically and co-ordinates services through a coherent, joined up approach. This will ensure CYP receive a full needs assessment and a tailored care and support plan.

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