Secure accommodation refers to residential homes with approval to restrict the liberty of young people aged 10-17 years of age who are believed to be a serious risk to themselves or to others. Young people enter secure accommodation through two routes: via the criminal justice system or because they are subject to a court order for welfare reasons.
When considering the young people from Wales placed in secure accommodation for welfare reasons, records show no decrease in secure referrals over the last decade, with recent years seeing an increase. The concern this has generated has been heightened by the scarcity of secure placements in Wales, which sees many young people placed outside Wales or having no bed in secure care due to a lack of availability.
Reference: Williams, A., Bayfield, H., Elliott, M., Lyttleton-Smith, J., Evans, R., Young, H., & Long, S. (2019). The experiences and outcomes of children and young people from Wales receiving Secure Accommodation Orders. Cardiff: Social Care Wales
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Young people aged 10-17 from England and Wales can be placed in a number of secure accommodation settings across the UK: one in Wales, 14 in England, and five in Scotland.
Social Care Wales commissioned this project, which investigated the experiences of the cohort of young people from Wales receiving secure orders between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2018. To achieve this, young people’s experiences before, during and after secure or alternative accommodation were explored by viewing administrative data and case files, and holding interviews with young people, social workers, other professionals who had been involved with the young people and some family members.
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