Placing young people in custody: guide for youth justice practitioners
How the Youth Justice Board 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 Justice Board for England and Wales (YJB) 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 YOTs. The YJB’s Placement Service will contact YOTs to make sure the needs, risks and circumstances of each young person has been taken into account.
If the young person has broken a civil injunction then the YJB follows the relevant placement protocol.
Notify the YJB Placement Service
YOTs should notify the YJB Placement Service as soon as the young person is sentenced.
To do this, the YOT should fill in the:
When the YOT has done this, it should send all the forms to the YJB Placement Service 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 YJB Placement Service.
Complaints should be marked for the attention of the Placements Manager. The YOT (who may be acting on the behalf of any one of the above representatives) should immediately convene a multi-disciplinary 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 YJB 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 the placement review process and then:
- convene a multi-disciplinary meeting to establish how risk can be managed or reduced
- complete the multi-disciplinary meeting record and recommendation form
- email it to the Placement Review team at firstname.lastname@example.org
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 YJB Placement Service.
The YJB Placement Service 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 Wetherby under-18 young offender institution (YOI) provides enhanced support to 15 to 17-year-old young men who for a variety of reason are not engaging - or are unlikely to engage - with the normal regime in a YOI.
If, as part of the multi-disciplinary meeting, the YOT decides that a referral to the Keppel Unit is appropriate, it should:
- read the Keppel Unit protocol
- follow the above process for transfers
- fill in a Keppel Unit Referral Form
- email it to YJBPlacements-SpecialistUnits@yjb.gsi.gov.uk.cjsm.net
The YOT should contact the YJB Placement Service for more information about the placement decision.
For more information, read:
Published: 31 July 2014