To celebrate the first ever Festival of Residential Childcare, IRISS FM has broadcast two new podcasts with the Centre for Youth & Criminal Justice (CYCJ), Residential Childcare Workers and secure care staff discussing research undertaken by CYCJ and the implications for practice.
The podcasts focused respectively on “Between a rock and a hard place”: Responses to Offending in Residential Childcare research and Secure Care in Scotland: Looking Ahead report, published by CYCJ in 2016.
Between a rock and a hard place
‘Between a rock and a hard place: Responses to Offending in Residential Childcare’ stemmed from professional concern regarding this area of practice, based on anecdotal evidence and research findings, including from England and Wales, that has found that young people in care are more likely to be criminalised than their non-looked after peers. The research aimed to gather more data about police contact for offending by young people in children’s houses, while also capturing the voice of the RCC worker in how they make, and are supported to make, the decision to involve the police in incidents.
For the podcast, CYCJ’s Practice Development Advisor Debbie Nolan and Research Associate Kristina Moodie were joined by residential childcare workers Sheila, Duncan, David and David, on how far the findings aligned with their experiences of practice. Key themes discussed included:
- Complexity in responding to offending in residential child care
• The dilemmas and tensions faced
• The recommendations made in the research to change practice
“You need to look at what the behaviour is telling you and what is behind the offending behaviour”
“Stigma can be hard to shake off when offending behaviour is left behind”
“The report has helped us all critically reflect on our practice”
Secure care in Scotland
Debbie Nolan and Alison Gough, Secure Care National Advisor at CYCJ, were joined by secure care workers Deborah, Lesley and Sharon, to share their perspectives, experiences, hopes and priorities for the future for young people in, and on the edges of, secure care and the sector.
The discussion focused on key messages and calls for action from CYCJ’s Secure Care in Scotland: Looking Ahead research, which shares findings and recommendations from the Secure Care National Project, commissioned by the Scottish Government and based at CYCJ. The project works intensively with a wide range of stakeholders, starting with young people, and has recently produced research into Chief Social Work Officers and local authorities.
Recommendations from this research included a call for a secure care national board giving a voice to those that matter most – the young people themselves – and a National Standards Framework which includes a care pathway for young people on the edges of, and in, secure care.
Discussion points included:
- Public and professional perceptions of secure care and whether these chime with practice experience
- The implications for secure care practitioners helping young people who have been involved in seriously harming others alongside those who have been exploited and are very vulnerable to further harm
- Priorities for the planned strategic board for secure care, next steps, and the involvement of practitioners
“Secure has a critical role in safeguarding & protecting vulnerable young people”
“We’re dealing with the most damaged children in Scotland. It’s time to stop & give them the care they’ve not always had”
“They are still children and we need to give them the time and invest in them”
The first CELCIS Festival of Residential Child Care is a week-long programme of events, celebrating and supporting the work of residential child care across the whole country.
Built around the 18th annual SIRCC Conference, the Festival line-up boasts a range of activities and events designed to champion and cheer on all that is residential child care.