A safe future? Finding a way forward for the secure care sector in Scotland

Gough, Alison (2016) A safe future? Finding a way forward for the secure care sector in Scotland. Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care, 15 (1). ISSN 1478-1840

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Secure care restricts the liberty of children and young people under the age of 18. As such, secure care is a form of residential care intended to meet the needs of the very small number of children and young people whose safety and wellbeing (or that of others) is at considerable risk and whose significant needs, for a particular period in their lives, are such that they can only be met safely in the highly controlled setting of secure care. The Scottish Government has commissioned Centre for Youth and Criminal Justice (CYCJ), based at University of Strathclyde, to undertake an independent, analytical, practice focused and strategic review of secure care provision for children and young people in Scotland, reporting in March 2017. I took up the role of secure care national adviser to lead this review in August 2015. In this think piece I reflect on the initial six months of the project work in relation to the differing stakeholder perspectives, experiences and expectations, of the purpose and function of secure care and how these tensions impact on the secure care workforce.

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