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3.2.7 Remands to Local Authority Accommodation or to Youth Detention Accommodation

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

With effect from 3 December 2012, whenever a court refuses bail to a child/young person (aged 10-17), the court is required to remand the child to local authority accommodation unless certain conditions are met, in which case the court may instead remand the child to Youth Detention Accommodation. Every such child (whether remanded to Youth Detention Accommodation or to local authority accommodation) will now be treated as Looked After by their designated local authority.

See also the following chapters:

Looked After Reviews Procedure

Social Worker Visits to Looked After Children Procedure

This chapter is currently under review.


Contents

  1. Background
  2. New Youth Remand Framework
  3. Youth Detention Accommodation
  4. Local Authority Accommodation
  5. Escort Arrangements
  6. Transitional Arrangements for 10-17 Year Olds Already Remanded
  7. Children who Turn 18 Years of Age During their Remand
  8. Care Planning for Young People on Remand


1. Background

Changes to the youth remand framework were made following public concern that 17 year olds were being remanded like adults and not on the same principles as younger children. That practice has attracted criticism from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. Placement of children in secure accommodation was also seen to be discriminatory and unfair as it was predominantly determined by age and gender. Furthermore, many 15-17 year olds whose alleged offences were not the most serious and whose behaviour did not pose a risk to the public were remanded securely. The new framework is designed to introduce a better approach to youth remand which maintains community-led supervision, support, education and training.


2. New Youth Remand Framework

The youth remand provisions in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Act 2012 came into force on 3 December 2012. They make significant changes to the remand framework for 10 to 17 year olds in criminal proceedings.

The Act imposes a new scheme for remands of children (other than on bail). All children must now be remanded into local authority accommodation, or (where certain criteria are met) Youth Detention Accommodation. In both situations, the cost of this accommodation must be met by the designated local authority, and the child will attain Looked After status.

The main changes are:

  • All children under 18 will be subject to the same remand criteria, compatible with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child;
  • Previously 17-year-olds were effectively treated like adults and were required to be remanded to prison;
  • All children not released on bail must now be remanded to local authority accommodation, unless certain specified conditions justify remand to Youth Detention Accommodation. All such children will be Looked After.

The Local Authority Social Services Act 1970 is amended to bring children who are remanded to local authority accommodation or to Youth Detention Accommodation into the definition of a Looked After Child for the purposes of the Children Act 1989.

The Act gives local authorities greater financial responsibility for remands to Youth Detention Accommodation. Youth Offending Teams will therefore have a financial interest in ensuring that they are adequately prepared for the remand hearing. For example Youth Offending Teams should where appropriate assist the court with information relating to:

  • Available bail packages;
  • Available local authority accommodation;
  • Relevant conditions available that may be attached to a remand to local authority accommodation or bail;
  • Which local authority should be designated by the court where a child has been remanded to local authority accommodation or Youth Detention Accommodation?


3. Youth Detention Accommodation

This comprises the following kinds of accommodation:

A court can only order a Remand to Youth Detention where certain specified criteria are met:

  • The child has reached the age of 12; and
  • Either the child is legally represented before the court or legal representation has been withdrawn/refused; and
  • Either the offence is a violent or sexual offence or an offence punishable in the case of an adult with imprisonment of 14 years or more; or
  • The child has a recent history of absconding from remand/committing offences whilst on remand; and
  • It is necessary to protect the public/prevent further offences.

Where a court remands a child to Youth Detention Accommodation, the court must designate a local authority as the designated authority for the child. The child will be Looked After by that designated local authority.

The responsible local authority will be the authority already looking after a child or, in the case of a child not previously Looked After, the authority in whose area the child habitually resides or the offence/one of the offences was committed.


4. Local Authority Accommodation

4.1 Meaning of Local Authority Accommodation

This means any accommodation provided by or on behalf of a local authority.

A court remanding a child to local authority accommodation may, after consultation with the designated authority, impose on the authority requirements for securing compliance with any conditions (see Section 4.3, Conditions/Electronic Monitoring) imposed on the child by the court, or requirements stipulating that the child must not be placed with a named person. In the absence of any such requirements, it is for the designated local authority to decide where the child resides.

4.2 Designated Local Authority

A court that remands a child to local authority accommodation must designate the local authority that is to receive the child. The responsible local authority will be the authority already looking after a child or, in the case of a child not previously Looked After, the authority in whose area the child habitually resides or the offence/one of the offences was committed.

The designated local authority must receive the child and provide or arrange for the provision of accommodation for the child whilst the child is remanded to local authority accommodation - thus local authorities will be responsible for covering the custody costs of these young people, providing a financial incentive for councils to keep young offenders out of custody.

The Local Authority Social Services Act 1970 is amended to bring children who are remanded to local authority accommodation into the definition of a Looked After Child for the purposes of the Children Act 1989.

Where a child is remanded to local authority accommodation, it is lawful for any person acting on behalf of the designated authority to detain the child.

4.3 Conditions/Electronic Monitoring

A court remanding a child to local authority accommodation may impose conditions (e.g. to ensure that s/he does not interfere with witnesses, or makes him/herself available for the preparation of court reports.) The designated local authority may apply to the court for such conditions to be imposed.

The court may impose electronic monitoring to secure compliance with such conditions provided that:

  • The child has reached the age of 12; and
  • The offence/one of the offences is an imprisonable offence; and either
  • The offence/one of the offences is a violent or sexual offence or an offence punishable in the case of an adult with imprisonment of 14 years or more; or
  • The offence together with any other imprisonable offences of which the child has been convicted in any proceedings amount to a recent history of committing imprisonable offences whilst on bail/remand; and
  • The court is satisfied that suitable provision for electronic monitoring can be made in the relevant area; and
  • A Youth Offending Team has informed the court that, in its opinion, the imposition of an electronic monitoring condition would be suitable in the child’s case.

A court remanding a child to local authority accommodation may, after consultation with the designated authority, impose on the authority requirements for securing compliance with any such conditions imposed on the child, or requirements stipulating that the child must not be placed with a named person. In the absence of any such requirements, it is for the designated local authority to decide where the child resides.

A court may, on the application of the designated authority or the child, vary or revoke any such conditions or requirements.

The child may be arrested without an arrest warrant if there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that the child has broken any such conditions.


5. Escort Arrangements

Children remanded to Youth Detention Accommodation will be transported under a new contract held by the Youth Justice Board. Children remanded to local authority accommodation will continue to be transported by the local authority.


6. Transitional Arrangements for 10-17 Year Olds Already Remanded

A child/young person who has been remanded under the previous remand framework will remain remanded as ordered by the court until the remand comes to an end and the child/young person is released, sentenced or remanded again.


7. Children who Turn 18 Years of Age During their Remand

When considering whether there is a real prospect that a child will be sentenced to a custodial sentence for the offence to which the proceedings relate and the child is likely to turn 18 before conviction, a custodial sentence can include an adult custodial sentence. Where a child turns 18 during the course of their remand they will remain in Youth Detention Accommodation until they are released or returned to court. The YJB will not seek to recover costs from local authorities in respect of a child.


8. Care Planning for Young People on Remand

The decision to remand a child will be made by a Court. This decision may be made at short, or no, notice for the local authority concerned.

In relation to children remanded to local authority or Youth Detention Accommodation, the Care Planning Regulations are, with effect from 19 April 2013, amended by the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013.

8.1 Remands to Local Authority Accommodation

  • Where a child is Looked After only by reason of being remanded to local authority accommodation, the Care Plan and Placement Plan must be prepared within 5 working days of the child being remanded;
  • The Care Plan does not need to include the plan for permanence/long-term plan for the child’s upbringing.

Otherwise, the care planning arrangements are the same as for all other Looked After children - see Decision to Look After and Care Planning Procedure.

8.2 Remands to Youth Detention Accommodation

8.2.1 Where the child was Looked After immediately before being remanded:

8.2.2 Where the child was not Looked After immediately before being remanded:

  • A Detention Placement Plan must be prepared instead of a Care Plan/ Placement Plan, within 10 working days of the remand;
  • The provisions as to Health Assessments (see Health Care Assessments and Plans) do not apply, but the responsible authority must take all reasonable steps to ensure that the child is provided with appropriate health care services, in accordance with the Detention Placement Plan including medical and dental care and treatment, and advice and guidance on health, personal care and health promotion issues;
  • In relation to Social Worker Visits to Looked After Children Procedure, the social worker must also visit whenever reasonably requested to do so by the Governor, Director or Registered Manager of the Youth Detention Accommodation;
  • In relation to Looked After Reviews Procedure, the responsible authority does not have to consider whether they should seek any change in the child’s legal status, whether there is a plan for permanence for the child, or whether the placement continues to be the most appropriate available and whether any change to the placement agreement is likely to become necessary before the next review;
  • The provisions as to avoidance of disruption in education, placements out of area and termination of placements do not apply.

8.2.3 Detention Placement Plans

The Detention Placement Plan must:

  • Set out how the Youth Detention Accommodation will contribute to meeting the child’s needs;
  • Include the address of the Youth Detention Accommodation;
  • Be agreed with, and signed by, the Governor, Director or Registered Manager of the Youth Detention Accommodation;
  • Include:
    • How, on a day to day basis, the child will be cared for and the child’s welfare will be safeguarded and promoted;
    • Any arrangements made for contact between the child and parents/persons with Parental Responsibility/Connected Persons including, if appropriate, the reasons why contact would not be reasonably practicable or would not be consistent with the child’s welfare; details of any orders made under sections 8 or 34 of the Children Act 1989;
    • The arrangements made for the child’s health (including physical, emotional and mental health) and dental care including any arrangements for the giving or withholding of consent to medical or dental examination or treatment;
    • The arrangements made for the child’s education and training;
    • The arrangements made for social worker visits, the frequency of visits and the arrangements made for advice, support and assistance to be available to the child between visits;
    • If an Independent Visitor is appointed, the arrangements made for them to visit the child.
    • The child’s personal history, religious persuasion, cultural and linguistic background, and racial origin;
    • The name and contact details of:
  • The responsible authority must ensure:
    • That the child’s wishes and feelings have been ascertained and given due consideration;
    • W where the child was Looked After immediately before being remanded, that the Independent Reviewing Officer has been informed of the remand.

End