The CYCJ practitioner support service regularly receives requests for case specific advice and support. During 2020 and 2021 common themes in three cases were identified, where support had been requested as children had been deprived of their liberty. While in each case support was provided and information shared with relevant agencies as appropriate, including the Scottish Government, the Independent Care Review and the Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland (CYPCS), these children’s experiences illuminated broader challenges across the totality of their journeys, from which learning could be shared.
CYCJ worked in partnership with the local authority and other agencies supporting each child to develop brief case studies, which it was agreed, in order to protect anonymity, would not be shared in full, but from which key issues and learning for improvement would be identified. This process involved professionals not only describing or narrating the child’s journey and experiences but also capturing their reflections about children’s experiences and what could or should be different for other children.
The resulting paper, written by Debbie Nolan, provides a summary of this information to stimulate wider professional reflection. It is relevant for anyone involved in making decisions about depriving children of their liberty, practitioners who support children in conflict with the law, and those who contribute to the context within which such decisions and practice takes place, including legislation and policy makers.