Between Care & the Criminal Justice System: A Multi-Agency Approach

The Care Leavers’ Association (CLA) is a user led, grassroots Charity campaigning for improved practice and effective policy change for care leavers. Over the last decade the CLA have worked to bring to the attention of policy makers the needs of care leavers within criminal justice settings who had become a forgotten about and pretty much invisible group. Part of the work of the CLA has been to hold a series of regional and national roundtables, which have brought together key stakeholders from the statutory and voluntary sectors, working at operational and strategic decision making level within health, justice and social care.

The CLA recently held a series of these roundtable across the Yorkshire & Humber region, with 126 delegates attending three events and outlining recommendations for change. The report of this work is attached.

Key objectives of this outcome focused work aimed to:

  • Promote engagement across key agencies concerned with the transition of Children Looked After (CLA) and Care Leavers as they access and/or sit on the periphery the CJS;
  • Develop and promote innovative approaches to local partnership working with CLA/Care Leavers in the CJS that address their individual needs;
  • Promote transparency, openness and accountability of public services to CLA and Care Leavers, in view of the overwhelming impact of public services on their life chances and quality of life;
  • Provide training and information on the needs of CLA/Care Leavers, their emotional well- being and legal status;
  • Ensure user led perspectives are central to policy developments and implementation Key outcomes from the roundtables have been to:
  • Develop an action plan based on discussion; and
  • Implement a steering group/feed into existing regional strategic fora to ensure key action points are picked up and taken forward

The report forms the basis of a working paper and the recommendations within it, which have been taken from the roundtable discussions, have contributed to the basis of an action plan presented to and taken forward by:

  • Local Criminal Justice Boards across Yorkshire and Humber (LCJB);
  • Reducing Re-Offending Steering Groups across Yorkshire and Humber (RRSG); and
  • HMPPS Yorkshire & Humber Regional Care Leaver Champion in support of the strategic direction across the secure estate in relation to care leavers

Written by Darren Coyne - Contact:

You can learn more about the CLA and its work within the criminal justice system at The Care Leavers' Association/Criminal Justice