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4.3.6 Remands to Local Authority Accommodation or to Youth Detention Accommodation

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

Whenever a court refuses bail to a young person (aged 10-17), they will be remanded to local authority accommodation unless certain conditions are met, in which case the court may instead remand them to Youth Detention Accommodation. Every such young person (whether remanded to Youth Detention Accommodation or to local authority accommodation) will be treated as Looked After by the local authority.

See also:

RELATED GUIDANCE

The Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (2015)

YJB - Manage bail and remands: section 3 case management guidance

AMENDMENT

In April 2019, this procedure was updated in relation to requesting transfers for young people in custody.


Contents

1. Youth Remand Framework
2. Youth Detention Accommodation
  2.1 Designated Local Authority
  2.2 Safeguarding Young People who are on Remand
3. Local Authority Accommodation
4. Escort Arrangements
5. Becoming 18 During the Remand
6. Care Planning


1. Youth Remand Framework

Under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Act 2012 all young people who are charged with an offence and refused bail must 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 local authority and the child will become Looked After.

The Act gives local authorities greater financial responsibility for remands to Youth Detention Accommodation. The Youth Offending Service will therefore have an interest in ensuring that adequate preparations are made for the remand hearing. For example, the Youth Offending Service should, where appropriate, assist the court with information relating to:
  • Available bail packages (e.g. Bail Support Programmes);
  • Available local authority accommodation (e.g. Remand Foster Care);
  • 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 young person has been remanded to local authority accommodation or Youth Detention Accommodation.

When a Looked After Child appears in court charged with an offence, the local authority, working with the young person's solicitor and the responsible YOS, should ordinarily work towards securing bail.

Care planning should consider the young person's needs both during the period of remand and following the court hearing. The Care Plan will also need to consider arrangements for the young person's support should they be convicted and receive a custodial sentence. Furthermore, local authority support to the young person and their family during this time is important, and efforts should be made to ensure that time on remand does not disrupt existing ties between the young person and their community.


2. Youth Detention Accommodation

When a young person under 18 is remanded or sentenced to custody, the Youth Custody Service decides where they should be placed.

The placement options are:

A court can only order a Remand to Youth Detention Accommodation where all the following conditions ( ss98 and 99, LAPSOA) are met:

  • The age condition: that they are aged at least 12, but under 18, years of age;
  • The offence condition: the offence(s) to which the remand proceedings relate is a violent offence, sexual offence or one that, if committed by an adult, is punishable with a term of imprisonment of 14 years or more;
  • The necessity condition: that the court is of the opinion that after considering all the options, including remand to local authority (non-secure) accommodation, only remanding the young person to Youth Detention Accommodation would be adequate for the protection of the public from death or serious personal injury occasioned by further offences or to prevent the commission by the young person of imprisonable offences; and
  • The legal representation condition: the young person must be legally represented (or not represented for specified reasons that are set out in s98, LAPSOA).

The young person must also meet one of the two “history conditions” set out below.

The first “history condition” under which a young person may be remanded to Youth Detention Accommodation is if:

  • They have a recent history of absconding while subject to local authority accommodation or youth detention accommodation, and
  • The offence(s) to which the remand proceedings relate, together with any other imprisonable offences of which the young person has been convicted in any proceedings, amount - or would, if they were convicted of that offence or those offences - to a recent history of committing imprisonable offences while on bail or remanded to local authority accommodation or Youth Detention Accommodation.

Alternatively, the second “history condition” is:

  • The offence(s) to which the remand proceedings relate, together with any other imprisonable offences of which the child has been convicted in any proceedings, amount - or would, if the child were convicted of that offence or those offences, amount - to a recent history of committing imprisonable offences while on bail or remanded to local authority accommodation or Youth Detention Accommodation.

2.1 Designated Local Authority

The court will ask the YOS officers in court which is the designated local authority for the young person. If a remand to Youth Detention Accommodation is being considered, it is important that this designation is correctly made. For Looked After young people, the designation must be to the 'home' authority, regardless of where they are living or where the offence took place.

2.2 Safeguarding Young People who are on Remand

Young people in custody can be particularly vulnerable. When a young person is remanded, the social worker should request a copy of the complaints procedure for the establishment. Social workers should then familiarise themselves with this and check that the young person has been provided with information about, and understands, it and also about their entitlement to advocacy.

Young people who are remanded should also be provided with information which is routinely given to all children who become looked after, including:

  • Contact details for their Social Worker, Independent Reviewing Officer and sources of support (including out of hours);
  • Contact details for the Children's Commissioner Advice Line (0800 528 0731 / advice.team@childrenscommissioner.gov.uk);
  • Information on the Children's Rights / Advocacy Service / Independent Visitors for Looked After Children.

If a remanded young person complains to their social worker about any aspect of their care while remanded, this should be recorded on ICS and reported to their line manager and the young person's IRO. The appropriate response will vary depending on the nature of the complaint, and the type of accommodation the young person is remanded to, but could include a referral to Children's Social Care and possible Section 47 Enquiry if the complaint concerns actual or likely Significant Harm.

If the complaint concerns an allegation against staff, the LSCB allegations procedure must be followed. Other complaints in relation to services provided by a local authority should be dealt with under the Complaints and Representations Procedure.

Where there are concerns that the young person is not being safeguarded or their welfare promoted (for example, there are concerns relating to the quality of care the young person is receiving, the suitability of the type of placement or issues around bullying, self harm, violence or intimidation), in the first instance it may be possible to resolve the concerns by discussion/agreement with the establishment itself.

Where issues cannot be resolved at establishment level, and if the responsible authority is of the view that the young person needs to be moved to another establishment, see Section 2.3, How to Request a Transfer or Placement Review.

The Local Authority should inform the establishment and Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service Young People's Team that they have decided to take this course of action.

2.3 How to Request a Transfer or Placement Review

The Youth Custody Service (YCS) carries out placement reviews to decide whether a transfer is required for a young person.

The YOS can ask for a transfer if they are responsible for a young person and:

  • Their circumstances change;
  • There is a risk or issue with their current placement.

To request a transfer, YOS should follow the Placement Review Guidance and then:

Other people can ask for a transfer but only the YOS and/or staff at the establishment where the child is placed should contact the YCS Placement Team.

The YCS Placement Team is responsible for making the final decision in the best interests of the child or young person after carefully considering all of the information available and opinions stated.


3. Local Authority Accommodation

3.1 Meaning of Local Authority Accommodation

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

A court remanding a young person to local authority accommodation may, after consultation with the designated authority, impose on the authority requirements for securing compliance with any conditions (see Section 3.3, Conditions/Electronic Monitoring) imposed on the young person by the court, or requirements stipulating that they 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 they should reside.

3.2 Designated Local Authority

The court will ask the YOS officers in court which is the designated local authority for the child or young person. The designated local authority will be responsible for identifying a suitable placement.

3.3 Conditions/Electronic Monitoring

A court remanding a young person to local authority accommodation may impose conditions (for example, to ensure that they do not interfere with witnesses, or make themselves 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 on a young person aged 12 and over to secure compliance with such conditions provided that:

  • They have been charged with, or convicted of, a violent or sexual offence, or an offence punishable in the case of an adult with imprisonment for a term of 14 years or more; or
  • They are charged with, or have been convicted of, one or more imprisonable offences which, together with any other imprisonable offences of which they have been convicted in any proceedings, amount, or would amount if convicted of the offences, to a recent history of repeatedly committing imprisonable offences while remanded on bail or to local authority accommodation; and
  • The court has been notified by the Secretary of State that electronic monitoring arrangements are available in the area and is satisfied that the necessary provision can be made under those arrangements; and
  • The YOS has informed the court that the electronic monitoring requirement is suitable for that young person (s3AA, Bail Act 1976).

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

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


4. Escort Arrangements

A young person remanded to Youth Detention Accommodation will normally be transported by a contracted escort provider.


5. Becoming 18 During the Remand

Where possible, young people who reach the age of 18 while on remand should remain in the under-18 estate. This will be until the court case has concluded and their sentence given by the court.

When the young person could be sentenced to a custodial sentence and is likely to turn 18 before conviction, a custodial sentence can include an adult custodial sentence.


6. Care Planning

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.

6.1 Remands to Local Authority Accommodation

  • Where a young person is Looked After only by reason of being remanded to local authority accommodation, the Care Plan must be prepared within 5 working days of them being remanded;

  • The Care Plan does not need to include the plan for permanence, unless it is considered that they need to remain looked after once the period of remand has ceased. However, consideration must be given to what longer term support or accommodation they would need following the remand episode.

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

6.2 Remands to Youth Detention Accommodation

6.2.1 Where the young person was Looked After immediately before being remanded:

6.2.2 Where the young person 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. This will be completed by the Youth Offending Service and require an assessment of 'sufficient quality' to ensure identification of the young person's needs and how the YDA Establishment will respond to them on a day-day basis;
  • The provisions as to Health Assessments (see Health Assessments and Action Plans Procedure) do not apply, but the responsible authority must take all reasonable steps to ensure that the young person 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;
  • Visits should take place in accordance with the Social Worker Visits to Looked After Children Procedure. It is also good practice for the Social Worker to attend remand planning meetings. In addition, where the young person is serving their sentence in a SCH or STC, a visit should also take place if there has been a notification by the Ofsted Chief Inspector of the under-performance of a placement provider or, where the young person is placed in a YOI, concerns about the welfare or safety of young people are raised by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Prisons;
  • In relation to Looked After Reviews Procedure, the responsible authority does not have to consider whether they should seek any change in the young person's legal status, whether there is a plan for permanence, 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 (see also Looked After Children and Young People in Contact with the Youth Justice Service Procedure);
  • The provisions as to avoidance of disruption in education, placements out of area and termination of placements do not apply.

6.2.3 Detention Placement Plans

For guidance on the content and preparation of Detention Placement Plans, see Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (2015), Young people remanded to YDA who were not already looked after children.

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