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Young Offender Institutions: Children

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 9th September 2019.

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Photo of Richard Burgon Richard Burgon Shadow Lord Chancellor and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what guidance his Department provides to custodial institutions holding children on when to make a safeguarding referral.

Photo of Wendy Morton Wendy Morton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Guidance to youth secure establishments relating to safeguarding of children is set out in ‘Working Together to Safeguarding Children’ (July 2018), which can be viewed via the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/779401/Working_Together_to_Safeguard-Children.pdf, as well as PSI 08/2012 (‘care and management of young people’) for public sector Young Offender Institutions. This can be viewed via https://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/offenders/psipso/psi-2012/psi-08-2012-care-management-young-people.doc.

As per the Ministry of Justice’s response to the recent report from the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, the PSI is to be updated. In advance of this, the Youth Custody Service has published Building Bridges, a policy framework that replaces some aspects of PSI 08/2012 relating to behavioural management of children (including promoting and maintaining good behaviour, managing challenging behaviour and offending behaviour interventions). This can be viewed at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/building-bridges-a-positive-behaviour-framework-for-the-children-and-young-people-secure-estate We are also working with the Department for Education to produce a new ‘Keeping Children Safe in Custody’ document, which we anticipated will be published in 2020.

The YCS’s Information Development Project is also working towards launching a revised and harmonised recording process for safeguarding referrals, across all sectors and establishments. The launch of the process will allow for uniform central reporting of safeguarding referrals, facilitating improved central oversight of these key liaisons.

The YCS takes the safety and well-being of young people in custody very seriously. It has conducted an internal review of safeguarding across the youth secure estate, and a new ‘Head of Safeguarding’ post has also been created to lead on taking forward this important area of work.

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