From 1 April 2015 new laws and statutory guidance apply to how children and young people with SEN are supported in youth custody.
The introduction of this new legal framework gives them new rights and places additional expectations on custodial establishments, local authorities, health partners and youth offending teams.
Even though the numbers of children and young people with SEND in youth custody are very low, the changes are important because:
- Over 60 per cent of people in youth justice have difficulties with speech, language or communication
- Around 18 per cent of young people in custody have a statement of SEN.
The new arrangements apply to children and young people aged 18 and under in:
- Young offender institutions
- Secure training centres
- Secure children’s homes
- Children and young people who are on remand or have been sentenced
- Children who have been voluntarily detained in secure children’s homes.
More information about the new requirements is set out in chapter ten of the Special educational needs and disability code of practice: 0 to 25 years.
The Council for Disabled Children has resources for anyone working with a child or young person in youth custody, including checklists and helpful guides to help them implement the new framework.