Secure Care Pathway and Standards Scotland : The Journey of Implementation

Nolan, Debbie and Whitelaw, Ruby and Gibson, Ross (2023) Secure Care Pathway and Standards Scotland : The Journey of Implementation. Children's and Young People's Centre for Justice, Glasgow. (

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This report illustrates the progress made in the implementation of the co-produced Secure Care Pathway and Standards, two years after their launch in October 2020. Through practice examples it provides insight into how agencies have approached the implementation process. Supportive workshops have enabled agencies to take both a single agency and multi-disciplinary approach, with the latter found to be the most effective. Implementation science provided a framework to help support and bridge the gap between theory and its application to practice. Successful implementation required targeted strategies which included knowledge exchange, practice reviews and revision and the development of policies, procedures, and mechanisms. A phased approach to implementation provided focus; phase one supported self-evaluation, learning and improvement. Aligning the Standards with other transformational developments in Scotland helped to cement their significance to practice nationally. Providing dedicated support through CYCJ assisted the implementation process. Stakeholder engagement has been critical to the effectiveness of implementation with the Champions group playing a lead role. Information contained within this report pertains to 21 of the 32 local authority areas within Scotland. A targeted approach to agencies and LAs where there has been limited engagement will be incorporated in the next phase of the implementation process. The co-designed Standards website provides a mechanism for the sharing of information and good practice examples that are consistently accessed locally, nationally, and internationally. It is recognised that achieving the Secure Care Pathway and Standards may require a single, multi-agency and national approach. Secure care centres, other stakeholders, the Secure Care Group and STARR have a crucial role in ongoing Secure Care Pathway and Standards implementation work. Barriers to meeting the Standards are evident at a time of scarce resources and limited capacity. Gaps in alternatives to secure care services have been identified as a challenge for all agencies. The Care Inspectorate’s appreciative inquiry has provided increased impetuses for agencies to continue to engage with the Standards.