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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/custody-and-resettlement/custody-and-resettlement-section-7-case-management-guidance
The YJB is aware that elements of this guidance are now out of date.
It it is being updated with support from the Youth Custody Service, but if you have any specific queries then please email either Henry Smithers Henry.Smithers1@YJB.gov.uk or Jerry Kirk email@example.com at the YJB.
This guidance describes how to plan for the custody and resettlement of children. It is for youth justice practitioners.
High quality relationships established between children and their parents/carers are vital for effective assessment and planning. You should therefore be mindful of the Relationship-based Practice Framework for Youth Justice.
When children are sentenced to serve a custodial sentence, it is vital that there is a focus on successful resettlement from the very outset, and consistently throughout the entirety of their sentence. The child and their family should be fully included in the initial planning meeting and objectives and targets should be agreed. This is to support positive change and desistence from offending through an identity shift.
You must work in close partnership with the secure provider to ensure that sentence planning is led by:
- needs and risk
- interventions that are targeted and follow through from the custodial to community element of the sentence
- effective information sharing
The custodial sentences available for use with children are:
2.1 A Detention and Training Order
This is the most common custodial sentence issued to children, and can be given by either youth or Crown courts. Sentences can be 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 or 24 months with half spent in custody and half in the community.
A Detention and Training Order can be issued to 15 – 17-year-olds convicted of an offence for which an adult would be sent to prison, and to 12 – 14-year-olds if the court takes the view that the child is a persistent offender. 10 and 11-year-olds cannot be given this sentence. With the implementation of the Offender Rehabilitation Act 2014, young people who have their 18th birthday in custody are subject to extended supervision so that, regardless of length of the Detention and Training Order, all will be supervised for 12 months in the community.
Young people who become 18 whilst serving a Detention and Training Order (DTO) should remain in the under 18 estate until release. In exceptional circumstances and with the agreement of the YJB Placements Team, they can move to a young adult YOI. This will happen if it is considered to be the most appropriate placement for them. For instance, if they are assessed as presenting a significant risk to other young people, a move would be appropriate for reasons of safety and wellbeing. A further, un-sentenced offending episode committed as a juvenile may also have an impact on a decision to move the young person pending sentence.
2.2 Section 90
Children from 10 – 17 years convicted of murder will be given a life sentence under section 90 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000. The court sets a minimum term which must be served in custody, starting at 12 years.
2.3 Section 91
Children can receive a long-term custodial sentence under section 91 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 if they are convicted of an offence for which an adult of 21 years or over could receive a custodial sentence of 14 years or more, or if they commit certain sexual or firearms offences, and a lesser sentence will not suffice. The length of any sentence under section 91 cannot be longer than the maximum sentence that a 21 year old or over could receive for the same offence.
2.4 Section 226
Children can be sentenced to an indeterminate custodial sentence under section 226 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 if they are convicted of a serious offence and the court has assessed them as being dangerous. A serious offence is an offence listed in schedule 15 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 for which an adult could receive a custodial sentence of 10 years or more.
2.5 Section 226B
Children can be sentenced to an extended custodial sentence under section 226B of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 if they are convicted of a specified offence as listed in schedule 15 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 and the court believes that they are dangerous.
If you are a case manager you must work in close partnership with staff within secure settings, within Children’s or Social Services, Education, Housing and other relevant agencies to ensure that:
- information is shared
- services are co-ordinated
- transitions in and out of custody are managed with resettlement as the focus
It is also vital that attention is given and action taken to maximise each child’s safety and wellbeing at all stages.
3. Role of the YOT case manager
If you are a case manager you have responsibility for overall case management of community and custodial orders, and joint accountability with the secure estate for sentence planning and delivery.
Once a child receives a custodial sentence, you must ensure that you complete the Custody module, including post court section of AssetPlus and send it to the YCS Placements Team through Connectivity, on the day of sentence.
Case managers should ensure that the children’s service and education departments of the home local authority are informed as soon as possible and include the likely timing for release, in particular for looked-after children. Once the placement is confirmed you should inform the child’s parents or carers within 24 hours.
Case managers are responsible for assessing the child’s safety and wellbeing using AssetPlus. This must be a dynamic process, with re-assessments taking place at regular intervals during the sentence as well as following any changes in the child’s circumstances. Service providers working in custody, such as health, learning and skills providers and substance misuse teams, will need to undertake assessments to be able to tailor their services to individual need. Secure settings caseworkers should jointly ensure that any new evidence collected from these assessments is incorporated into the AssetPlus assessment and that the case manager is notified of these changes.
You should work with the secure settings caseworker to review the child’s sentence type and age to identify if they need to transition to the adult estate. This should be identified at the first review and use further review meetings to discuss any specific needs. You should include this within their transition plan.
Transition planning for the child must begin before they reach 17 years and 6 months. You should identify if the child may be eligible for early release and if this will avoid the need to transfer them to the adult estate. The child should understand what standards of behaviour and offending behaviour programmes are expected to be completed for them to be considered for early release.
If a transfer to the adult estate is necessary, case managers are responsible for ensuring that information is shared in a timely manner with the receiving adult prison’s casework team on the following:
- risk and resettlement
You should do your assessment of all the resettlement pathways prior to entering the community in a timely manner. It should be from the start of a child’s sentence and have regular reviews and updates. You will need to work with the secure establishment, Children’s or Social Services and families or carers to ensure arrangements are in place to meet individual needs across the pathways in advance of the child leaving custody. This also includes ensuring all arrangements are appropriate for their licence conditions.
Where GPS location monitoring is applied to the child’s licence, you should work with the secure establishment to ensure careful consideration is given when designing exclusion zones to ensure it best serves the child’s interest.
The vulnerability of the child, including learning needs and health must be taken into account before considering
GPS location monitoring. Careful explanation of the requirements such as battery charging must be given if GPS location monitoring is to be used with children who have specific needs. HMPPS has produced this guide for more information.
For those who will be subject to extended supervision, you should involve the National Probation Service and Community Rehabilitation Company early in the planning in order to identify whether the YOT or adult services are more appropriate to carry out the extended supervision.
Refer to the Youth to Adult Transitions Framework Process Map 2015 - Annex A for guidance on transitioning to adult services.
If it is agreed that a transfer to adult services will happen, Probation officers from the designated agency must be involved with and participate in all planning arrangements, including those taking place in the custodial setting. You will usually chair all sentence planning and review meetings, though this can be alternated with staff from the secure estate as appropriate. The initial planning meeting must focus on resettlement at the end of the custodial element of the sentence, and on agreeing objectives and targets for the sentence plan that are demonstrably linked to the criminogenic and safety and well-being needs identified in the AssetPlus assessment.
Where necessary include transition plans if the young person turns eighteen during their sentence. You are responsible for approving the sentence plan and any subsequent changes that are made to it.
Your YOT should ensure the child is involved in decision making, and informed of any updates in relation to their resettlement arrangements ensuring that they fully understand their arrangements and conditions on release. You are responsible for working with the secure estate to ensure that appropriate interventions are delivered across both custodial and community elements of the sentences to reduce the likelihood of reoffending or of breach of the conditions of the order.
Case managers should keep the young person informed about plans to transition to the adult estate if this is the best option subject to maturity, learning needs or overall vulnerability. You should ensure they have a full understanding of the differences between youth and adult secure settings and the role of the Probation Officer.
4. The role of the case worker in secure settings
As a caseworker based in a secure setting you will be assigned to work with a child during the custodial part of their sentence.
You will be responsible for overseeing the sentence plan in relation to the secure setting. This includes:
- working with the child to help them understand and achieve the objectives and targets defined in their sentence plan
- ensuring that colleagues within the secure setting work together and information is shared effectively
You should also make sure the child has access to and understands:
- information on complaints procedures and the advocacy service that is available
- the rewards and sanctions scheme and the appropriate positive behaviours expected.
You will work together with the YOT case manager to make sure that the child’s needs and risks are identified and that resources are effectively coordinated and managed to address them throughout the sentence. You will also be the key contact for the YOT, parents and carers, and all other relevant professionals involved in the child’s case.
You should act promptly to convey information to all relevant stakeholders, internally and externally. This includes:
- communicating concerns about the child’s safety and well-being
- ensuring all information is passed on to the YOT case manager and all other relevant stakeholders immediately - if you identify a need to do so
- keeping records updated
You should work with the YOT case manager to set up the initial meeting. This should occur promptly and take account of all relevant views, including those of the child. The purpose should be to:
- discuss and approve the plan, the interventions, and the resettlement plan in detail
- organise all subsequent planning and review meetings
Planning and reviewing throughout the sentence should address progress against the plan, and towards the aim of helping the child to resettle and reduce offendingenciurage desistance. This includes addressing:
- suitability for the detention and training order early-release scheme
- home detention curfew
- temporary release
- (where appropriate) parole
- release on licence including setting license conditions
You should also work collaboratively with the YOT case manager and the Youth Custody Service (YCS) Placement and Casework Team to plan the transition of a young person who has been identified as requiring a transfer to the adult estate on turning 18. This includes communicating with all appropriate agencies as necessary to plan for release. You must also help facilitate visits from the young person’s family, the YOT and other appropriate agencies as necessary to plan for release.
If the young person transfers on reaching 18, you should follow the standards for children in the justice system 2019, Standards 4, In Secure Settings. ‘How to apply’ and statutory guidance.
- Youth to adult transition protocol (England)
- Youth to adult transition protocol (Wales)
- Transfers for over 18s to young adult estate
It is good practice to arrange and facilitate a visit from a staff member in the adult establishment. They will be able to explain to the young person what to expect in the adult establishment. In the absence of this, you will be responsible for preparing and supporting the young person in the lead up to transition to the adult estate. This preparation should include providing information about changes to the regime so they know what to expect. You should also share relevant information with the establishment beforehand.
5. The role of the YCS Placement and Casework Team
The YCS Placement and Casework Team is responsible for the placement of all children who are remanded into custody or given a custodial sentence by a court.
Their primary purpose is to place children in the establishment best able to ensure their safety and manage their individual needs and risk factors. The team has an important role in making the best use of resources and capacity available to children in secure settings.
If you work in a YOT you are responsible for notifying the YCS Placement and Casework Service, at the earliest possible stage, about children who may receive a custodial outcome, using the Custody sections of AssetPlus. It is important that this information is received promptly to enable the secure setting to effectively safeguard the child. If, due to workload pressures or court timescales, it is necessary for you to send this after 5.30pm contact must be made with their out-of-hours service to ensure that the documents are uploaded on the same day.
5.1 How to contact the YCS Placements and Casework Team:
Whenever a child receives a custodial outcome, you must inform the YCS Placement and Casework Team of all relevant information relating to that child and complete the Custody section of AssetPlus. You may have a view as to the most appropriate type of placement for an individual child, which you should communicate, together with the reasons for that view.
The YCS placement officer will then identify the most suitable available placement for that individual. The final decision on placement will be made by YCS Placement and Casework Team, but this will be after considering all available information and taking the view of the YOT into account. Both agencies share the responsibility for ensuring the placement can maintain the child safety and wellbeing. If you disagree with a placement decision then you should escalate this to the YCS Head of Placements and Casework.
Read the placing young people in custody guide to find out more about this process.
The YCS Placement and Casework Team communicates all relevant information to the secure establishment and transport provider, to ensure that all staff involved in caring for children in custody are aware of their individual risks and needs.
If any documents are missing, you will be alerted through your secure email address the next morning, detailing what is needed, Once the outstanding information is received, the Placement Team will forward the missing information to the relevant establishment. Repeat instances of missing documentation from the same YOT will be escalated in line with our policy, because prompt information transfer is vital to ensure safety and wellbeing. When requested, placements can be reviewed to ensure that they remain appropriate. The Placement and Casework Team will liaise with establishments and YOT staff to monitor children progress, and where necessary manage the transfer process. This review may include consideration of how they may benefit from a placement in one of the ‘specialist’ units.
If the child is moved to another establishment, you must notify the child parents or carers within 24 hours, and ensure any concerns are communicated to the receiving establishment and the Placement Team. You must also notify relevant local authority staff including the social worker and education service within five days.
The YCS Placement and Casework Team will assist with the planning of transitions for children held in secure children’s homes (SCHs) and secure training centres (STCs) who have been identified as requiring a transition to the adult estate due to their age and length of sentence. Boys in SCHs and STCs will usually transition to a young offender institution (YOI) prior to their admittance into adult custody in order to support in preparing them for their stay in adult custody. Girls should transition from SCHs into STCs to also support with their preparation for adult custody. However, on occasion children (regardless of sex) may transition from an SCH or STC into adult custody and the planning of this will be supported by the YCS Placement and Casework Team. Transition planning for those requiring a move into the adult estate usually commences at the age of 17 years and 6 months.
Refer to the Youth to Adult Transitions Framework Process Map 2015 - Annex A for further information
The Release and Resettlement Team sit within the Placement and Casework Team and they have responsibility for the day-to-day delivery of the case work function on behalf of the Secretary of State. Its roles and responsibilities vary across secure settings, but in summary include:
- issuing sentence calculations
- decision applications for early, late and temporary release
- preparing release documentation
- setting and amending licence conditions
6. The role of Children’s Services
The local authority in whose area the secure establishment is located is responsible for carrying out section 47 of the Children Act 1989 enquiries in relation to any child in the secure estate who may be suffering significant harm.
Any child who was in the care of or accommodated by the local authority prior to entering youth detention accommodation continues to have a right to that support while in custody and on release.
Read the local authority responsibilities towards former looked after children in custody for more information.
Planning meetings and care reviews should continue throughout the sentence, and should be scheduled in line with the statutory custody review meetings so that the planning aligns. The allocated social worker must visit the child sufficiently frequently to monitor their safety and wellbeing, ensure that they can communicate any concerns and that resettlement planning is completed.
An allocated social worker from the responsible authority that looked after the child prior to the custodial outcome must visit them within:
- 5 days for looked-after children
- 10 days for accommodated children of sentence start
This is to assess their needs and to make plans to meet them whilst in custody and on release. Each institution also has a dedicated social worker. Their primary role is to identify looked-after children and liaise with home authorities.
For those who remain looked-after or have leaving care entitlements, the care or pathway plan must continue to be reviewed. The social worker and case manager should liaise to ensure that their plans are aligned, and arrange joint visits a minimum of once a month to ensure this aligned plan is jointly reviewed. If a child is required to be transferred to the adult estate throughout their sentence the social worker must continue to be involved in the transition planning and provide ongoing looked after or leaving care entitlements. It is important that these meetings are conducted as joint reviews, and that both the welfare and desistance needs and risks the child may present to others are given sufficient attention and consideration.
6.1 Communication, Information Sharing and Escalation
Throughout the sentence, the following people must ensure that there is regular communication and exchange of information to support the child and plan for successful resettlement:
- case manager
- secure settings caseworker
- allocated social worker
- other key professionals
Any change in circumstances or significant events, especially pertaining to risk of harm to others or the child’s safety or wellbeing, must be communicated within the network as soon as is practical.
Where there is a concern about issues in partnership working hindering or delaying work to meet the child’s needs, this should be raised immediately and action taken to resolve the problems. If this is not successful the issue should be escalated as follows:
If you are a case manager, or other YOT staff you should escalate any issues to your head of service who will use their own line management routes and management board links to ensure action is taken. If you are a head of service and the responsibility of Children’s Services to allocate a release placement is not met, you should raise this with the Director of Children’s Services immediately and no later than 7 days prior to release, escalating as necessary to ensure suitable arrangements are in place. It is recommended that you establish a protocol with your local children’s services setting out roles and responsibilities and agreeing who is responsible for which actions when making resettlement arrangements
If you work in a secure establishment and feel that an individuals resettlement needs are not being met by other services you should use the e-Asset escalation route in addition to informing the advocacy service, relevant YOT head of service and the relevant YJB monitor or performance manager who will be able to support and advise the establishment. The YJB Business Area overseeing the home area may also be involved where issues prove difficult to resolve.
6.2 Initial Planning
The initial planning meeting should take place within 10 working days of a custodial sentence being given. For this and all subsequent review meetings the YOT case manager is responsible for inviting the child’s parents or carers, the local authority social worker and any other relevant attendees from the community. This may include:
- education or careers worker
- representative from the local authority education department if the child has an Education and Health Care plan
- child and adolescent mental health worker or other health professional
- accommodation representative
- independent visitor, advocate or mentor
- translation services where this is necessary for the child or their parent or carer
- any other relevant professional
Practitioners in Wales should refer to the Social Services and Well Being Act (Wales) 2014 for variations to the above.
The secure establishment is responsible for arranging logistics and for taking and circulating notes. They will work jointly with the YOT, providing information and planning and delivering interventions to the child. Where key partners are unable to attend, they must feed their information in ahead of the meeting for discussion, and send a representative where possible.
The full and up-to-date AssetPlus assessment provided to secure settings at the point of entry into custody will inform the initial planning meeting. In addition, if you are a case manager you should provide information on:
- any interventions being provided to the child in the community prior to entering custody
- any recent specialist assessments such as a mental health or sexual offending assessment
- looked-after status and details of allocated social care staff
- any speech, language and communication needs, or diversity factors within the assessment which the establishment will need to accommodate
- specific resettlement pathways that prove problematic for the child and likely to need specific attention on release and for planning
- details of any requirement to transition a young person throughout their sentence to the adult estate, and/or the National Probation Service or Community Rehabilitation Company when reaching aged 18.
The purpose of the initial planning meeting is to agree a sentence plan to reduce the risks of reoffending, build on strengths and set realistic targets for desistance. It will explain the expectations of the child while in the secure setting and the support available to them. It will also agree risk management plans necessary to manage risk to the child or others and ensure that they and their parents understand the plan.
It is vital that staff in the secure establishment and from the YOT focus on successful resettlement outcomes from the start of the sentence, even for long sentences.
The initial planning meeting therefore should look at the following and begin to work on supporting these for release:
- education or training
- family support
- any continuing or newly identified health needs
The planning meeting should consider each of the seven pathways for successful resettlement, as laid out in the diagram in Pathways to Resettlement.
This is used alongside any additional needs the child or young person may have. Where resettlement consortia or employers’ forums exist, you should engage with them to support the child.
If you are a case manager or secure establishment practitioner you should have an agreement on how you update of Pathways and Planning section of AssetPlus. It will be updated with all of the judgements, ensuring that the frequency of appointments is at minimum that indicated by the Scaled Approach level, and that this is increased if necessary to complete the targets identified. The Plan should be integrated, including both the elements to be delivered during the custodial part of the sentence, and the plan for successful resettlement into the community.
You should ensure that the child understands the requirements of their plan, and signs a hard copy. It must then be distributed to all relevant professionals as soon as is practical.
Particular attention should be paid to the ‘Tailoring interventions’ subsection of Pathways and Planning in AssetPlus which considers any specific individual needs such as:
- learning difficulty
- cultural needs
- speech, communication and language
- preferred learning style
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation, on review of the AssetPlus Guidance, has made a strong point of not losing sight of risks the child poses in the community while they are in custody, so Pathways and Planning should ensure that risk management continues across both elements of the sentence.
Where there are identified needs which the establishment does not have the resources to meet, you must explore alternative options, and work collaboratively to determine the solution. This may include providing in-reach services directly. You can do this by sourcing the support through another agency or re-considering the suitability of the placement and advocating to the Placement Team for a transfer. Where it is not possible for interventions to be delivered at any point in the sentence, this must be recorded in the sentence plan and the YCS must be informed.
6.3 Children with special educational needs
If you are a YOT case manager, or a secure settings caseworker you can bring a child to the attention of their home local authority at any time and have the right to request an assessment if you believe they have special educational needs and a formal assessment is needed. If the assessment shows that they do have such needs, an Education, Health and Care Plan will be provided to the YOT, who must pass a copy to the secure setting in the event of a custodial outcome.
If a child already has such a plan in place on entering custody, this must be supplied at the initial planning meeting and used to inform the plan.
If you are a YOT case manager you must visit children given custodial sentences outside of formal reviews, and maintain contact with their parents or carers sufficiently regularly to support them through the custodial part of their sentence and plan properly for a successful resettlement back into the community.
This will usually mean visiting monthly or more often. Contact should not be any less than every two months. This maintains a positive and trusting relationship which will ease the transition on release, enables you to keep an accurate and up-to-date assessment of risks and needs, and to monitor the child’s progress and wellbeing. It is important that you maintain regular visits directly, and that contact is not left solely to other specialist workers. The secure setting must support and facilitate these meetings.
Where there is a considerable distance from the home local authority, or for other practical reasons, you may use video link technology to maintain contact. However, you must continue to schedule face-to-face visits and not use video links as the sole means of contact. The secure setting must facilitate this.
6.5 Review meetings
Review meetings should take place at least once every three months within custody. If you are a case manager you should, where possible, speak to the secure setting caseworker in advance of the meeting to get a verbal update and agree the agenda for the review meeting.
Review meetings provide a structured forum to bring together the child, their parents or carers and all relevant individuals and information to:
- review any new information or changes in circumstances since the previous meeting and update AssetPlus accordingly
- ensure that the sentence plan is being implemented as agreed and review the child’s progress against their objectives and targets
- enable the child to raise any concerns they have about their treatment or progress
- review arrangements for release and take any action needed to facilitate this
- consider whether the child is suitable for Temporary Release and for early release
- review transition plans if the young person is required to transfer to the adult estate at aged 18
6.6 Determining eligibility to be considered for early release
Children given a Detention and Training Order, or a sentence under Section 91 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 may be eligible for consideration for early release.
The under-18 young offender institution YOI, the YCS Placement and Casework Team or the secure training centre (STC) or secure children’s home (SCH) aim to calculate the automatic release date and early release date within two working days of the sentence being passed. You should consider the age of the child when sentenced and identify if a transition will be required. The application of early release could be considered if it might avoid a transfer to the adult estate and the young person meets all the criteria for this.
Review meetings should then be scheduled in line with timescales for this by the secure institution, and the schedule amended if necessary.
Children serving a Detention and Training Order of less than 8 months are not eligible for early release. For orders of 8 months or more, the presumption is in favour of early release, unless their behaviour during the period in custody is seriously violent or disruptive, or unless their index offence falls into one of the following categories:
- sexual offence as defined by section 161(2) of the Powers of Criminal Court (Sentencing) Act 2000
- arson with intent to endanger life, as defined by sections 1(2) and (3) of the Criminal Damage Act 1971
- wounding or causing grievous bodily harm with intent, as defined by section 18 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861
- firearms offences as specified in Schedule 1 and section 17(2) of the Firearms Act 1968
- kidnapping and/or false imprisonment
- terrorism related offences under TACT law
If the child is serving a sentence for one of these offences, they are not completely excluded from being considered from early release, but you must demonstrate that they have made exceptional progress against the sentence plan. This must be explained to the child at the initial planning meeting and utilised to motivate them to fully engage with the requirements of the sentence plan.
Home Detention Curfew (‘tagging’) is the early release mechanism for children serving longer sentences. This allows them to apply to be released up to 4.5 months (135 days) before their conditional release date subject to serving a quarter of their sentence first and 30 days at a minimum.
Children and young people in the following categories are excluded from consideration for early release and will be released at halfway point:
- those serving a sentence of 4 years or more
- those who have previously breached a Home Detention Curfew
- those previously recalled to custody on a long sentence
Proposals for release under Home Detention Curfew must be considered two months prior to the earliest eligible date for release, and recommendations made to the governor of the YOI, or the YCS Placement and Casework Team in the case of a SCH or STC, or the HMPPS in the case of longer term sentences.
6.7 Temporary Release
Some objectives on the child’s sentence plan will require them to attend meetings or participate in activities outside the secure establishment. This day release is known as mobility in SCH’s and STC’s, and release on temporary licence in YOI’s.
In YOI’s children must serve half of their custodial period before becoming eligible for release on temporary licence or 24 months before the release date, whichever gives the later date. The establishment are responsible for:
- making checks
- assessing suitability
- taking the decision
The YOT will supply any supporting information required which can be recorded in the ‘Temporary Release’ subsection of AssetPlus Pathways and Planning. This may include checking on the suitability of the proposed address, giving details of the family, or assessing the impact on any victims.
The following children may not be considered for release on temporary licence:
- Category A prisoners
- prisoners on the escape list
- prisoners subject to extradition proceedings
- remand and convicted unsentenced prisoners
- sentenced prisoners who are remanded for further charges or further sentencing
In SCH’s and STC’s, mobility is a comparable scheme but is broader in its eligibility criteria as there are greater staff resources available to mitigate risk and support the child. Establishment staff will, in almost all cases, accompany the child during the period of temporary release.
6.8 Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA)
If a child meets the eligibility criteria for MAPPA, the YOT must refer to the home area MAPP 6 months prior to the earliest possible release date, with the required management level.
Cases held at Level 2 or Level 3 will be discussed at a meeting and a view taken on the licence conditions to be applied. If you are the case manager you must provide up to date information on the child’s behaviour whilst in custody and any incidents affecting the assessment of risk of harm to others.
6.9 Release preparation meeting
The penultimate meeting prior to release will be the release preparation meeting, and should be held no later than one month before the proposed release date. This meeting will focus on arrangements for the child’s release, and is when licence conditions are set. It should bring together the planning which has taken place over the entirety of the custodial element of the sentence, carrying over any outstanding work to the community element of the sentence, and finalise arrangements for resettlement. If the child is looked-after by the local authority, the allocated social worker must be invited and the review meetings combined.
The meeting will finalise arrangements for:
- employment, training or education – ensuring that there is education provision of at least 25 hours a week for children of school age in place, and college, training or employment arrangements for those older. A specialised careers or education worker could undertake a joint visit with the case manager for this meeting
- accommodation – a suitable placement should be arranged for the child on release, with arrangements made for electronic curfew monitoring equipment if necessary and consideration given to what support the child will need to live successfully at this location. If no definite address has been identified at this stage, the case manager must escalate the issue to the YOT manager, who must raise this with the agencies responsible to attain a speedy resolution, escalating as necessary
- health – services should be in place to meet assessed mental and physical health needs, and any substance misuse requirements
- finances – applications for benefits to which the child is entitled have been made and sent through
This meeting also agrees the conditions of the community element of the order. This is referred to as a Notice of Supervision for Detention and Training Orders, a release licence for Section 90, Section 91 or Section 228 extended sentences, or a life licence for indeterminate sentences. The ‘Leaving Custody’ module in AssetPlus records the Notice of Supervision or Licence and also the agreed Release Arrangements.
The meeting should ensure that arrangements are in place, for young people who have reached or will reach their 18th birthday while on license. This is so support and interventions can be transferred to adult mainstream and specialist services as appropriate.
6.10 Licence conditions
Licence conditions are the enforceable conditions attached to the community element of the order. There are a number of standard Notice of Supervision conditions which should be included:
- to attend and engage in YOT supervision, and to comply with instructions given by the case manager
- to receive visits from their YOT case manager at home
- to reside permanently at an address approved by the case manager and to notify the case manager of any proposed stay away
- not to travel outside the UK without prior permission of the YOT
- to be well behaved and not to commit any offence or do anything that could undermine the purposes of their supervision
- an electronically monitored curfew is a mandatory condition for those who are subject to early release on a Detention and Training Order, or under
- s91 of the Powers of the Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000
The YOT must also consider any additional conditions which are necessary and proportionate to maximise the child’s opportunities for successful resettlement from custody, and to reduce any risk to victims or the wider community.
You need to ensure that young people who reach their 18th birthday before or during their release on license, understand that if they breach their license and are required by the court or are recalled to custody, that they will serve any custodial time within an adult prison.
6.11 Intensive Supervision and Surveillance as a condition of a custodial licence for children
YOT Intensive Supervision and Surveillance can be included as a licence condition if the child is under the age of 18 at release. However, this should only be used where such a stringent measure is felt to be reasonable and necessary to manage their risks. Eligibility for an Intensive Supervision and Surveillance licence condition would be indicated by any one or more of the following criteria:
- child’s index offence falls under Multi Agency Public Protection criteria
- child is assessed as posing a high or very high risk of serious harm to others
- child is assessed as posing a high or very high risk of re-offending
Where these criteria apply, if you are a case manager you should refer the case for discussion at the Youth Offending Service Risk Management Panel, Reducing Custody Panel, or similar forum for discussing children and gaining management approval for decisions. Meeting any one or more of the above criteria alone does not automatically mean that Intensive Supervision and Surveillance should be used. The panel must take the view that this is reasonable and necessary for management of the risk and the recommendation must be agreed by someone of operational manager level or above.
There must be a discussion with the child as part of the process of deciding whether to recommend Intensive Supervision and Surveillance. While few children and young people will welcome the concept at the outset, you should aim to explain the reasons for considering it, and the benefits for them.
The level of support provided through Intensive Supervision can prove a vital factor in easing the transition into the community, and you should encourage the child to identify elements they would like to see included on their timetable.
Even the more restrictive elements of the programme can have positive effects – for example many children welcome an electronically monitored curfew as a means to distance themselves from anti-social peers and the temptation to return to offending. Ideally the child’s agreement for the licence condition will be elicited, though risk considerations will be the deciding factor. It should be noted that many children who are initially resistant to this level of intervention, later reflect on the effectiveness it can have to move on with their life in a more pro-social way
Intensive Supervision and Surveillance should be seen as a positive measure to support the child make a successful move into the licence part of their sentence. The high intensity element of the programme should be in place for half of the licence period, up to a maximum of three months, and then taper over the remaining period to encourage independence. The programme should include the core elements of:
- education, training or employment: 15 of the 25 high intensity hours should be timetabled in this category
- restorative justice: this may include victim awareness, community reparation, writing a letter of apology or direct restorative interventions
- offending behaviour: one-to-one or group sessions supporting a move to a positive self identity
- family support: sessions with the parents or carers to ensure that they understand the child’s licence requirements and are doing what they can to encourage compliance
- interpersonal skills: work to support the factors which can increase resilience and desistance with a focus on the introduction of new positive interests which can be continued independently following the intensive phase coming to an end
You should carefully design the intervention to be meaningful when taken alongside the child’s existing assessments and needs. Additionally, you should encourage the child to take ownership of their programme and their timetable, and to identify elements they would like to see included in each of these elements. You should have regular reviews with the child and their parents or carers. When you do this you should:
- review the objectives of the programme
- highlight positive achievements
- address any needs or barriers regarding compliance and achievement
The whole focus of the programme should be on successful resettlement and a move away from offending to a positive, contributory lifestyle.
6.12 Additional conditions available
This table gives a range of licence conditions approved by HMPPS for use with adults. Any of these conditions may be used for children, but the degree to which they are appropriate for the younger age group must be carefully considered.
The agreed licence conditions must then be recorded in the Leaving Custody module in AssetPlus.
6.13 Final release preparation meeting
The case manager and secure setting caseworker should ensure that the final release review meeting is held no less than 10 working days before release. If the child is looked-after by the local authority, the allocated social worker should be invited and the review meetings combined.
Elements which need to be agreed at the pre-release meeting include:
- transport – you should confirm arrangements for the child to return to their home area, and who will be meeting them at the gates on release
- YOT contact – you should confirm arrangements for supervision including on the day of release
- reminding the child of finalised licence conditions
Children on licence are given appointments with a frequency indicated by the Scaled Approach level, with this increased if necessary to meet support needs.
6.14 Supervision during licence period
If you are a case manager you must give the child an appointment with them or another colleague on the day of release, and ensure that this is attended. Thereafter they will give appointments as necessary to meet the requirements of their Pathway Plan – ‘Our Intervention Plan’ section of AssetPlus.
You must schedule for a home visit within five working days of release, and at least monthly for the remainder of the licence period.
During the licence period you should then ensure that the interventions assessed as necessary to support desistance are delivered and that the child engages in this support. This should include:
- desistance work
- work to protect victims and reduce risk of harm to others
- education, training and employment provision (including any necessary contact with local careers advisory services)
- suitable and supported living arrangements
- health, mental health and substance misuse provision as needed
- provision of any support necessary for dealing with finances, debts and benefits
- engaging with parents/carers
Any changes to the Notice of Supervision conditions should be authorised by the issuing governor of a YOI, or the YJB Placement Service in the case of SCH’s or STC’s and an amended Notice of Supervision issued.
6.15 Extended licences for 18-year-olds
If a young person has their 18th birthday while on or before the mid-point of a custodial sentence of less than 24 months, the extended license requirement under section 256AA of the Offender Rehabilitation Act 2014 applies. The extended supervision period begins at the end of the sentence. The period of extended supervision ends on the expiry of twelve months from the midpoint of the sentence. The extended period of supervision does not apply to young people who reach their 18th birthday after the midpoint of the DTO while serving the community element of the sentence.
This means that the young person serves half of their custodial sentence in custody, the second half under licence in the community, with the supervision period then applying until they have spent twelve months in the community since the date of their release from the custodial part of their sentence.
A four-month Detention and Training Order would mean two months in custody, two on licence and ten on extended supervision. Further details on extended supervision of those who reach 18 years old whilst serving the custodial element of a DTO can be found in the YJB practice note for YOTs. The focus of the extended supervision is rehabilitative not punitive, and should be on support and resettlement rather than enforcement. The decision to breach should be balanced against progress being made against the overall order and in the best interests of the young person and the public.
Read extended supervision: practice note for youth offending teams for more information.
The YOT worker should work with the custody case worker to identify the need for extended supervision. This is important when drafting the transition plan so that planning for extended supervision begins as early as possible. Agree the decision on which agency will manage the extended supervision before the final DTO planning meeting. When considering transfers to the NPS or CRC you should decide what level of support the young person will need, with regard to:
- their level of maturity;
- any special education; and
- communication or disability needs
You should agree requirements for the extended supervision period with the supervising agency at least a month before release. This is so these can be discussed and recorded at the final DTO planning meeting when the DTO supervision conditions are agreed.
6.16 Compliance during licence stage
If you are a case manager you are responsible for encouraging the young person to comply. You should also ensure that you respond to any failure to comply with the licence conditions during the community element of the sentence. You should do this with a visit or telephone call where possible, followed by a letter within 24 hours. This includes monitoring and managing breach of electronically monitored curfews where these are a part of the licence, through liaison with the agency supplying the equipment.
Breaches of licence conditions may include:
- committing a further offence
- failure to attend a scheduled appointment with the YOT supervising officer, or partner agency as instructed, without a reasonable excuse
- attending a scheduled appointment but refusing to engage in planned work, or disrupting a session
- missing a curfew without a reasonable excuse
- staying away from the address overnight without informing you
You will take a view as to the severity of each incidence of breach, and implement a scaled response of verbal warning (for minor issues such as lateness):
- first written warning
- second written warning
- implementing formal breach proceedings.
For very serious breaches, such as an act of violence against a member of staff, immediate breach may be instituted.
Throughout the licence period you must make every effort to help the young person comply. Your compliance procedures should be used to encourage this, and as young people on licence have higher incidences of recidivism repeat use of Compliance Panels may be appropriate.
6.17 Enforcement for Detention and Training Orders
When a child or young person misses a scheduled appointment without acceptable reason, you should issue a formal written warning no later than the next working day. If a child or young person receives more than two written warnings, and compliance procedures have been utilised, you must consider breach action. Unless your manager authorises otherwise, breach action must be initiated and the case listed at court within 10 working days of the last missed appointment.
When taking breach cases to court the you must have the following information ready to table:
- a Breach report, detailing the facts, the failures to comply and a proposal for the court to deal with the matter
- Crown Prosecution Service papers for the original offence
- a copy of the Detention and Training Order and agreed licence conditions
- a copy of the summons
- statements of staff detailing the non compliance
- evidence that the child was aware of the appointments missed, where this is the reason for the breach
- copies of the warning letters
- sentencing history, and details of any prior non-compliance
- confirmation of the young person’s age where they have already reached their 18th birthday. Ensure the court is aware that if a return to custody is the outcome, that the young person will be placed within an adult prison. You need to ensure that the Personal Escort Record is completed and provides any risks and safeguarding needs the young adult may have.
- Young people who return to adult custody having reached 18 years after the midpoint of their DTO, continue to not be eligible for ‘Extended Supervision’ on release.
Breach proceedings can be brought to court even after the order has finished, if the summons or warrant was issued while it was in force. The court can issue a period of detention, or a period of supervision of three months starting from the date of the failure to comply. This can run concurrently with the licence, and further periods can be imposed for further breaches.
6.18 Recall procedures for long term custodial sentences
For children sentenced under sections 90 and 91 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000, or sections 226(B) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 amended by the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 and 228 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, YOTs have powers to start recall proceedings which do not require the child to appear in court before he or she is returned to custody. This means that the recall process differs substantively from the process by which Detention and Training Orders and other court orders are breached. There are two sets of circumstances which can lead to the recall of children on licence:
- breach of licence conditions (including reoffending)
- behaviour which poses an increased risk of harm to the public
The decision to initiate recall proceedings is made by the supervising case manager and only major breaches of licence conditions will lead to this recommendation.
All recall requests are made through the recall request report. This should be completed as soon as is reasonable after the incident or behaviour that triggers the recall process, and email it to the Offender Management and Public Protection Group for that geographical area:
Recall Team One covers London, Norfolk & Suffolk, Surrey, Sussex & Kent, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire, Essex, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Avon & Somerset, Devon, Cornwall & Dorset, Thames Valley, Hampshire, Wales. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recall Team Two covers Durham & Cleveland, North Yorkshire, Humberside & Lincolnshire, Northumbria, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Greater Manchester & Cheshire, Cumbria & Lancashire, Merseyside, Staffordshire West Midlands, West Mercia, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire. Please contact email@example.com.
The Offender Management Public Protection Group will review the recall request report and then issue the YOT with a revocation of licence for the child’s arrest. If you are a case manager you should then:
- send the revocation of licence to the police so they can arrest the young person
- send a copy to the YCS Placement Team by secure email
- complete the Custody module of AssetPlus and send to the YCS Placements Team
- save a copy with the child’s file to prepare for their return to custody
When the child has been arrested you must contact the YCS Placement Team to discuss the child’s return to custody and complete and send any remaining necessary paperwork.
Once placement has been confirmed prison escorts contracted services will be notified by the Placement Team to collect the child from police custody and take them to the identified secure establishment.