How the Youth Custody Service places a young person in custody, and how to question a placement decision.
When a child or young person under 18 is remanded or sentenced to custody, the Youth Custody Service (YCS) decides where they should be placed. This will be either at a secure training centre, secure children’s home or under-18 young offender institution (for young males only).
The placement decision is based on the information provided by youth offending teams (YOTs). The YCS’s Placement Team will contact YOTs to make sure the needs, risks and circumstances of each young person has been taken into account.
Read thefor an overview of the main responsibilities and activities of the Youth Custody Service (YCS) Placements Service.
If the young person has broken a civil injunction then the YCS follows the relevant.
Notify the YCS Placement Team
YOTs should notify the YCS Placement Team as soon as the young person is sentenced.
To do this, the YOT should complete the:
- AssetPlus full stage
- AssetPlus custody module
- post-court report form
When the YOT has done this, it should send all the forms to the YCS Placement Team using Connectivity, the secure system that YOTs use to share information.
The YOT should also send the post-court report form to the establishment using the same method.
If the case management system is unavailable (or in any other exceptional circumstances) the YOT can use these Word documents.
Questioning a placement decision
The YOT can ask for the placement to be reviewed if it disagrees or has concerns about the placement allocation.
People who can apply for a review of the placement decision are:
- the child and/or their parents or guardians
- the designated local council (remand only)
- the local council (when it has a child care order)
- staff at the establishment where the child is placed
- the child’s legal representative
If you have a concern about a placement decision you should follow the complaints process to raise it with the YCS Placement Team.
Complaints should be marked for the attention of the Placements Manager and sent to YCSTransfers@justice.gsi.gov.uk. The YOT (who may be acting on the behalf of any one of the above representatives) should immediately convene a Placement Review meeting as per the Placement Review process noted below at or as close to the same time as lodging the concern.
How to request a transfer or placement review
The YCS carries out placement reviews to decide whether a transfer is required for a child or young person.
YOTs can ask for one if they are responsible for a child or young person and:
- their circumstances change
- there is a risk or issue with their current placement
To request a transfer, the YOT should read theand then:
- convene a multi-disciplinary meeting to establish how risk can be managed or reduced
- complete the . Please refer to the document for support on completing this form.
- email it to the Placement Review team at YCSTransfers@justice.gsi.gov.uk
Other people can ask for a transfer but only the YOT and/or staff at the establishment where the child is placed should contact the YCS Placement Team.
The YCS Placement Team makes the final decision in the best interests of the child or young person after carefully considering all of the information available and opinions stated.
The Keppel Unit
The Keppel Unit at HM Young Offender Institution (YOI) Wetherby is a national unit for males aged 15 to 18 year with complex needs. These complex needs may include:
- high risk to self and/ or others
- physical or mental health needs
- learning disabilities
- communication needs
- substance misuse issues
A complex needs unit aims to meet the needs of young people who cannot be maintained on normal YOI location with an enhanced care plan.
Making a referral to The Keppel Unit
If you are a professional involved in the care and management of a young person, and you feel that a referral to the Keppel Unit is appropriate, you should:
- Read the and follow the process for transfers
Fill in a
- Email it to YCSPT-SpecUnits@justice.gsi.gov.uk.cjsm.net
The Youth Offending Team should contact the YCS Placement Team for more information about the placement decision.
Mother and Baby Unit
All young women placed in the secure estate for children and young people that are pregnant, or have a child aged less than 18 months of age, have the chance to be placed in a dedicated young women’s Mother and Baby Unit (MBU).
An MBU aims to provide a holistic service for pregnant young women and those with babies by:
- offering purpose built accommodation where the needs of the young women and babies can be most appropriately met
- enabling pregnant young women, and those with babies, to live and look after their babies while they are in custody, or until the baby reaches the age of 18 months
- providing support to pregnant young women and the unborn child and aid the young women through their birth plan
Our MBU is a currently dedicated unit within Rainsbrook STC.
YOTs should read thebefore discussing a potential admission with the YCS Placement team.
Please do not complete thebefore discussing with the Placement Service.