Offending rates among children in care investigated
23 June 2015
From the section UK
An independent review is being launched to examine why so many children in care in England and Wales end up in the criminal justice system.
The Prison Reform Trust, which set up the review, says children aged 10 to 17 in care are more than five times more likely to be in trouble than others.
The inquiry will look at issues such as how often children change home, and how authorities handle behaviour.
It will be led by former probation officer and social worker Lord Laming.
“It is a huge step for the state to assume the parenting of a child or young person,” he said.
“With that comes the responsibility to provide stability, security and hope for the future.
“Fewer than 1% of children and young people are committed to the care of local authorities, yet a third of boys and 61% of girls in custody are, or have been in care.”
Children in care aged between 10 and 17 are more than five times more likely than other children to be convicted or subject to a final warning or reprimand, the trust says.
However, says the trust, nearly two-thirds of these children are in care because they have suffered abuse or neglect, and only 2% are taken into care primarily because of their own socially unacceptable behaviour, according to government figures from 2014.
The trust cited examples of young people’s experiences.
One girl with a criminal conviction said: “I was moving round children’s homes, I was pretty unsettled, I was starting school, then coming out of school, then home schooled, then finishing home school because I couldn’t stay in that placement.”
Another young person said: “What I’ve heard from different police officers when I’ve been arrested, it’s like, ‘You’re a kid in care, you’re never going to get out of this way of life’.”
Lord Laming, who has chaired previous inquiries looking at failures to protect at-risk children, including Victoria Climbie, said he wanted to hear from all those who have experience of the care system and the criminal justice system.
“We cannot …read more
Source:: BBC world news feed