[United Kingdom] Young people leaving custody receiving inadequate social care, inspectors warn

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10 Oct 2019
Community Care (UK)

It is quite problematic when children or young adults leave custody (e.g. juvenile prison) and have no plans about their future. It means they do not know where to stay, what job to do or if they should go back to school.

This resettlement outcome has not improved in the last 4 years. 50 young people, who left custody, were observed between October 2018 and August 2019. 37 of them needed social care support, but only 6 of them received it. 30 people went back to their families after the release, but the rest did not even know where to go at all. 6 people were gone missing and one third got some help, but not about an entire education, health and training process.

A young people should receive professional support when they started custody or when their penalty comes to an end. The government should work out a strategy, that would help young people to find their way back to society, like providing accommodation for a while.

The president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) said that he is aware of the situation and finding a solution is extremely hard. Housing is one of the most difficult issues, as there is a national shortage of housing anyway, even for people who are not released from custody.

New programs should be introduced by the state, like a month of housing could be arranged. Regarding the behaviour of the child would lead to the next step. Is it worth for the government to help them further? If yes, then they would give more support.

But anyway, “planning of life after custody” should start already at the beginning of the sentence period. Leaving custody is a very difficult time for young people, because they do not what to do in the real world. The solution is planning sooner, individually and providing more resources for an improved outcome.

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