Representing care experienced children & young people in police custody: A good practice guide

The Children and Young People’s Centre for Justice (CYCJ), in collaboration with the Scottish Child Law Centre, has produced a resource to support Scottish solicitors and practitioners with Good Practice Principles when representing care experienced children in police custody, to ensure their rights are upheld.

Children with care experience are more likely than their peers to experience police contact and criminalisation, despite no evidence that they commit greater offences than other children. They are less likely to receive support at the police station from family or a responsible adult which can affect both their experience of police custody and the criminal justice outcome.

In response, CYCJ and the Scottish Child Law Centre have published ‘Representing care experienced children & young people in police custody: A good practice guide’. This brings together practical advice, research and guidance, aimed at criminal solicitors, practitioners and children and young people. It is based on a paper from the Howard League for Penal Reform, the Youth Justice Legal Centre ((part of Just for Kids Law), and includes inputs from Youth Just Us and Scottish solicitors.

The guide comprises:

A report exploring the key issues around the criminalisation of care experienced children and young people: Download here.

A summary of Good Practice Principles for solicitors: Download here.

Information and advice for children and young people, detailing their rights in police custody, and what they are entitled to ask for: Download here. Access a printable version here

An Information Sheet for youth justice practitioners. Download here.

If you would like to discuss this guide, or have suggestions for content, please email

Contact Us

Children's and Young People's Centre for Justice
University of Strathclyde
Lord Hope Building, Level 6
141 St. James Road Glasgow G4 0LT

(0141) 444 8622

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