The Centre for Youth and Criminal Justice (CYCJ) has published its report on responses to offending in residential child care following concerns about the higher levels of criminalisation among looked after young people.
The study found that better relationships between the police and young people, wider support for residential staff and clearer communication could all play a key part in reducing the criminalisation of young people in residential care.
The report Between a rock and a hard place: Responses to Offending in Residential Childcare highlights the factors and influences on decision making by residential staff when faced with offending behaviour. It also recommends that police involvement should be the last resort.
Duncan Dunlop, Chief Executive of Who Cares? Scotland said:
‘We wholeheartedly agree with CYCJ’s recommendation that police involvement should always be the very last resort. Professionals must not focus solely on behaviour and instead, should address the experiences that underpin the young person’s actions. Care experienced young people deserve love, not punishment.’