SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER
Whenever a court refuses bail to a child/young person (aged 10-17), the child will be remanded 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 be treated as looked after by their designated local authority.
See also the following chapters:
AMENDMENTIn June 2019, this chapter was updated in relation to placing young people in custody, see Section 2.3, How to Request a Transfer or Placement Review.
Under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Act 2012 all children 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 designated local authority, and the child will attain looked after status.
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:
When a Looked After Child appears in court charged with an offence, the local authority, working with the child's solicitor and the responsible YOT, should ordinarily work towards securing bail for the child.
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 child 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 child and their community.
When a child or young person under 18 is remanded or sentenced to custody, the Youth Custody Service decides where they should be placed.
This comprises the following kinds of accommodation:
A court can only order a Remand to Youth Detention Accommodation where the following conditions (set out in Section 98 and 99 LAPSOA) are met:
The child must also meet one of the two "history conditions" set out below.
The first "history condition" under which a child may be remanded to Youth Detention Accommodation is if:
Alternatively, the second "history condition" is:
The court will ask the YOT officers in court which is the designated local authority for the child or young person. If a remand to Youth Detention Accommodation is being considered, it is important that this designation is correctly made. For Looked After children and young people, the designation must be to the 'home' authority, regardless of where they are living or where the offence took place.
Children and young people in custody can be particularly vulnerable. When a child or 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 the complaints process and check that the child has been provided with information about, and understands, the complaints process 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. This could include for example:
If a remanded child complains to their social worker about any aspect of their care while remanded, this should be recorded on the child's electronic record and reported to a manager and the child's IRO. The most 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 should be followed. 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 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.
The Youth Custody Service (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:
To request a transfer, the YOT should read the Placement Review Guidance and then:
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.
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 3.3, 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.
The court will ask the YOT 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.
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 on children aged 12 and over to secure compliance with such conditions provided that:
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.
Children remanded to Youth Detention Accommodation will be transported by the contracted escort provider.
Where possible, young people who turn 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 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.
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.
Where a child is Looked After only by reason of being remanded to local authority accommodation, the care 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, unless it is considered that the child needs to remain looked after once the period of remand has ceased. However, consideration must be given to what longer term support or accommodation the child will 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.
See Matters to be dealt with in a Detention Placement Plan of the Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (2015).