Salford Children's Services Procedures Manual Salford City Council website

2.2.4 Joint Protocol Between Salford Youth Justice Service & Salford Children Services Specialist Teams

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This chapter identifies the processes for children and young people who are at risk of becoming involved and those involved in the criminal justice system. It aims to describe the formal arrangements between the Salford Youth Justice Service and Salford Children Services Specialist Teams in working jointly to meet the needs of children and young people in these circumstances.

RELEVANT GUIDANCE

Standards for children in the youth justice system 2019

DfE, The Children Act 1989 guidance and regulations – Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (2015)

RELEVANT CHAPTER

Court Remand to Local Authority or to Youth Detention Accommodation Procedure

AMENDMENT

This chapter was updated in May 2019 to reflect the current organisational structure and processes.


Contents

  1. Aims
  2. Partnership Approach
  3. Out of Court Disposals
  4. Appropriate Adult Services & PACE Bed Arrangements
  5. Court
  6. Community Sentences
  7. Bails, Remands and Custodial Sentences
  8. Risk Management Arrangements : Complex Case Panel - MAPPA Reviews
  9. Sexually Harmful Behaviour: Aims Assessment and Intervention
  10. Dispute Resolution


1. Aims

This protocol aims to establish formal arrangements by which Salford Youth Justice Service and Salford Children Services Specialist Teams, (Next Steps, Looked After Children and those involved, Child Protection Plans, Children In Need and Young People Plans), to work collaboratively to meet the needs of children and young people involved in the criminal justice system. It identifies responsibility for service provision, staff duties and information sharing to establish common principles of intervention and where different demands exist between two parties, these are coordinated appropriately.


2. Partnership Approach

There is an established close working partnership between the Youth Justice Service and Children Services specialist teams in Salford to ensure that children and young people who become involved with the criminal justice system receive appropriate support to prevent further offending. These arrangements include:

  • The Director of Children Services chairs the YJS partnership board. The Head of Looked after Children and Care Leavers Service are members of the partnership board. The quarterly YJS performance report contains details on Looked After Children involved with the criminal justice system;
  • The Head of the YJS is a member of a number of Salford’s strategic boards that support positive outcomes for children and young people;
  • A YJS operational manager attends the Looked After Children Placement Panel, Families on Track meetings, Education on Track and initial Sexually Inappropriate Behaviour Strategy meetings. A YJS case workers attend a weekly multi-agency Missing From Home meetings and all YJS staff receive daily Police updates on children and young people reported missing from home and arrested for a criminal offence;
  • The YJS provides an advisory service to Salford Children Services’ residential care staff, Looked After Children team and After Care Service about those children and when a young person gives their consent they will work with them on a prevention basis. The YJS victim worker provides training and support to residential staff in relation to Restorative Interventions;
  • A YJS Manager meets with the Looked After Children, Residential Home and Leaving Care managers on a regular basis to review joint cases and enhance joint working arrangements. This promotes good working relationships between the services and the sharing of specialist knowledge to assist with the supervision of the children and young people identified.


3. Out of Court Disposals

The YJS Pre-Court Team screen children and young people who receive an Out of Court Disposal from the Police and identify any areas of concern that might require a further service intervention from the YJS. Where a child or young person is known to a Specialist Children Service’s team, the YJS will notify the social worker or lead worker.


4. Appropriate Adult Services & PACE Bed Arrangements

Under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE)

The YJS is responsible for the provision of the Appropriate Adult Services at Swinton Police Station in respect of any child or young person under the age of 18 years charged with a criminal offence without a parent or carer in attendance. YJS staff fulfil this duty during office hours: Monday - Friday, 8.30 am - 4.30 pm when the Police make the referral directly to the Youth Justice Service. During evenings, weekends and bank holidays, the Police make referrals to the Emergency Duty Team (see Emergency Duty Team Procedure) who will liaise with Child Action North West, who provide the Appropriate Adult Service at these times.

If the child or young person is Looked After there is an expectation that a member of staff from the residential service, Looked After Children’s Team or Next Steps would fulfil this role. Where a Looked After Child has committed an offence in which a member of staff is the complainant e.g. violence to staff, criminal damage to personal property it may if necessary be appropriate to negotiate the involvement of YJS staff to undertake the Appropriate Adult role.

Police Custody

Children and young people should not be kept in Police custody following charge. If they cannot go straight to Court they must be granted bail to return home or transferred to local authority accommodation, (community or secure). The only exception is where the young person is assessed as likely to cause serious physical or psychological injury to someone before they appear at Court.

In cases where the Police request that a child or young person is accommodated by the Local Authority the request must be made to the Bridge or Emergency Duty Team. If it is not possible for the individual to return home then consideration should be given to a range of placement options e.g.: extended family / friends, a placement in a residential children’s home or, a placement in supported 16+ accommodation. The Police will transport them to the agreed placement. Residential staff will liaise with parents / carers and children service colleagues where the child or young person is an open case, to confirm the most appropriate arrangements for transporting them to and accompanying them in Court.


5. Court

Children and young people under the age of 16 may on occasion appear in Court without their parents/carers. In these instances, the YJS will act as Appropriate Adult and ask the Court to adjourn the case for the parents/carers to be present. In the case of a Looked After Child the allocated social worker or designated carer is required to attend.


6. Community Sentences

When a Community Sentence is imposed by the Court and the child or young person is open to a specialist Children Services team, the YJS case worker will inform the allocated social worker or lead worker. They will share their initial assessment (ASSETPlus), intervention plans, and invite them to reviews, Complex Case Panel and MAPPA meetings. YJS staff will attend a range of Children Service’s strategy meetings and Looked After Children’s Reviews.


7. Bail, Remands and Custodial Sentences

Bail

Occasionally a child / young person will appear in Court who does not have a suitable address for bail or their parents/carers refuse to accommodate them. In these circumstances at the Court’s request the YJS Court Officer will contact the parents/carers to reinforce their parental responsibility. Should the parents/carers refuse to accommodate them or a suitable alternative is not be available. The YJS worker will contact the Bridge or EDT (Saturday/Bank Holidays) and notify them the child or young person is being ‘bailed to live as directed by the local authority/children’s services’. The Bridge or EDT staff will be responsible for determining the placement for the child / young person on bail with assistance from the YJS.

Remands into Local Authority Accommodation (RILLA)

(See also Court Remand to Local Authority or to Youth Detention Accommodation Procedure)

Where a child or young person is not released on bail, Section 91 of the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO), requires that the Court remand the child to local authority accommodation in accordance with Section 92, unless one of the sets of conditions detailed in Sections 98 to 101, are met in which case the Court may remand the child to youth detention accommodation.

A Court that remands a child or young person to local authority accommodation must designate the local authority that is to receive the child (Section 92(2)). Under Section 92(3) if the child has Looked After status, the designated local authority must be the local authority that is currently Looking After the child. Where the child is not Looked After, the designated local authority may be the one in whose area the child habitually resides or where the offence or one of the offences was committed. The designated local authority must receive the child and provide or arrange for the provision of accommodation (Section 92(3)).

RILLA’s are located on a continuum of remand services that include bail with support, remand into local authority care and remands to custody. The YJS will seek to propose supported bail packages to the Court in order that only those young people whose offences are ‘so serious’, or their risk to the public is so great that a remand is necessary. If a young person is aged 17 years or under and is refused bail by the Courts, they can be remanded into Local Authority Accommodation. Children who are deemed RILLA by the Court are by definition in Local Authority care for the period of the remand. The case management arrangements for these children are the joint responsibility of the YJS and Children Service’s Specialist Teams.

If the child or young person is already in the care of the local authority prior to the remand, the YJS Court staff will contact the Looked After Team or Next Steps for confirmation that the placement remains available and is appropriate. For children not previously in the care of the local authority, the YJS court officer will contact the Bridge or if an open case, the relevant specialist team.

The statutory duty for the identification and provision of suitable accommodation lies with the Children Service’s Specialist Teams. YJS Court staff will assist where appropriate in respect of assessment of needs and practical tasks.

The YJS will allocate a case worker for the remand period and will liaise with the social worker and residential staff during the remand. When remanding a child or young person to the care of the local authority, the Court expects that all reasonable steps are taken to avoid further offending. However, unless the Court has imposed specific restrictions on the accommodation to be provided by the local authority the remand placement and any changes to it can be made at their discretion. If the placement changes during the remand period this should be made in consultation with the YJS case worker.

Youth Detention Accommodation

(See also Court Remand to Local Authority or to Youth Detention Accommodation Procedure)

Where the Court refuses bail to a child, the new youth remand framework introduced by Section 91 of the LASPO Act 2012, permits the Court to remand a child to local authority accommodation or to youth detention accommodation.

In the event of a YoDA, the YJS will complete an assessment indicating the child or young person’s vulnerability and will liaise with the Youth Justice Board’s placement team to identify a suitable vacancy in the ‘secure estate’. Where the young person is an open case to a Children Services specialist team the YJS will consult with the relevant colleague regarding the child’s vulnerability.

The secure estate consists of places in local authority secure children’s homes (LASCHs), secure training centres (STCs) and Young Offender Institutions (YOIs). The YJS Court worker will notify a YJS manager and relevant Children Services’ specialist team of all Court ordered secure remands.

A YJS worker and a social worker will be allocated to all children and young people made subject to a secure remand. The individual child is deemed to have entered local authority care for the period of the remand (Section 23(1) of the 1969 Children and Young Persons Act). In the case of young people remanded to secure accommodation, the YJS are required by National Standards to convene a remand planning meeting within 5 working days and to review the case regularly with a view to supporting an application for bail. In addition, an initial LAC review should be held within 10 days of the remand and reconvened on a monthly basis until the end of the remand period. The YJS worker and allocated social worker will work closely together to avoid duplication of work but the responsibility for providing the secure estate with the relevant looked after documentation lies with the allocated social worker.

Custodial Sentences

When sentenced to a period of detention a child or young person loses their ‘Children in Care Status’ unless they are subject to a Care Order. A child or young person who, prior to custody had been Accommodated under Section 20, was a Child in Need or subject to a Child Protection Plan should retain their allocated social worker. Where the young person is aged 16+ and has been Looked After for thirteen weeks or more from the age of fourteen, including any period as a looked after child as a result of being remanded they will be deemed a ‘relevant child’ and should be supported as a ‘care-leaver’. In cases that meet this criteria, planning for release should begin as soon as possible. The allocated social worker along with the YJS worker will attend the initial sentence planning meeting, reviews and discharge meeting. It is the responsibility of the YJS worker to ensure that the Social Worker is notified of the relevant dates for these meetings.

It is the responsibility of the Looked After Children Teams and Next Step service to ensure that children and young people who are in Care are accompanied and conveyed to their proposed placement upon release from a remand/custodial establishment.


8. Risk Management Arrangements: Complex Case Panel - MAPPA Reviews

The YJS adheres to a risk-led approach to case management. This is used in the assessment, planning and intervention stages for all children and young people accessing the YJS via prevention, Out of Court Disposals through to being subject to a community or custodial sentences. Children and young people are risk assessed in respect of:

  • Re-offending;
  • Causing serious harm to others;
  • Safety and Wellbeing (self).

Those children and young people assessed as a high or very high risk in any of these three categories will be referred to an initial Complex Case Panel chaired by a YJS Manager. The Youth Justice Service is responsible for identifying and inviting the relevant agencies including representatives from the Children Services Specialist Teams where the child or young person is an open case.

The Head of the YJS conducts quarterly reviews on all children and young people with MAPPA 1 and 2 status. The YJS is responsible for identifying and inviting the relevant agencies including, where appropriate, representatives from the Children’s Service’s Specialist Teams, if the child or young person is an open case.


9. Sexually Harmful Behaviour: Aims Assessment and Intervention

A YJS manager will attend all initial sexually harmful behaviour Strategy Meetings. Where there is no criminal prosecution but an AIM assessment is being completed, the Social Worker with responsibility for this assessment can request an YJS co-worker. The YJS will take the lead on all AIM assessments where there is a criminal prosecution.


10. Dispute Resolution

This protocol is designed to provide the framework for constructive relationships and reduce the areas of uncertainty and tension between services. In the event that there is a dispute between parties, the principle is established that it should be resolved at the level closest to the area of dispute. In the event that it cannot be resolved at this level, it should progress to other levels and finally to the Head of the YJS and the relevant Head of Service. The final level of appeal would be to the Director of Children’s Services.

End