Reimagining Secure Care

Listening to children and young people as part of the Independent Care Review highlighted the need for Scotland to think more radically in relation to secure care (and community alternatives) in order to meet the needs and uphold the rights of children and young people. The Promise subsequently highlighted a need to transform secure care in Scotland by 2030, and for children to be removed from Young Offender Institutions (YOI) by 2024. This reflects Scottish Government’s position on YOI, as outlined in The Children (Care and Justice) (Scotland) Bill and successive Programmes for Government. 

The Scottish Government have commissioned CYCJ to explore potential options as to what a reimagined secure care should look and feel like for children in Scotland before, during and after secure care, aligning with legislative changes and in keeping the longer term aims of the Promise. We have partnered with Dartington Service Design Lab who bring expertise in systems change and user-centred design; they are using a service design approach which acknowledges the recommendations of historical reviews and ongoing development work in relation to secure care and its position within the continuum of care.

The aim of the project is to work collaboratively with children and young people in, and with experience of secure care, their families/carers to gather their views, and with all relevant stakeholders who contribute to supporting children before, during and after secure care or alternatives to secure care, through a four-phased process:

Phase 1 Discovery This phase is important to the development of relationships and creating a shared appreciation of the iterative nature of the design process. We will facilitate safe spaces to explore the needs of children, young people, and their parents/carers, wherein key stakeholders are comfortable sharing their views

Phase 2 Define This phase determines the areas deemed most important by children, young people, their parents/carers, and key stakeholders. These areas will then be explored further

Phase 3 Develop This could include areas that might need adapted and those that are likely to require additional time and investment. Developments will be sense checked with design session participants. They will then be refined, adapted, or discarded in response to feedback, to ensure proposed changes meet the needs and address the problems identified through the Discovery and Define phases

Phase 4 Deliver The final phase will be to deliver redesigned secure care provision to meet the needs of all children, meeting the requirements of legislation and a rights-upholding approach to justice for children in Scotland.

Emerging themes from the vast amount of information gathered from the initial two phases of the project (Discover and Define) enabled the development of three design briefs which have informed (and been the focus of) the current Phase 3 (Develop):  

  1. Model of Care
  2. Preventing Children Being Deprived of their Liberty
  3. Mindsets and Culture

Model of Care 

Design Brief 

Powerpoint Presentation from Model of Care

Practitioners, Visual Workspace for Innovation (

Senior Leaders, Visual Workspace for Innovation (

Preventing Children Being Deprived of Their Liberty

Design Brief 

Powerpoint Presentation from Preventing Children Being Deprived of Their Liberty 

Mindsets and Culture 

Design Brief

Mindsets and Culture Powerpoint 

Integration of Ideas

Integration and Reflection

Broadstroke Options

Integration and Reflection (January Session)

Integration and Reflection Miro Board

Miro boards for each session:

Practitioners Miro

Seniors Miro

What we’ve Gathered in RSC Sessions:

Reimagined Future World Iceberg Graphic  

Current World Iceberg Graphic 

Parents, Family Members and Carers Survey

Throughout the Reimagining Secure Care project we have been working with children and young people in secure care and YOI, as well as professionals working across secure care, social work, police, health care, education, and local authorities.

It’s really important to us to listen to the views of parents, family members, and carers too. This includes anyone who has experienced having a child in secure care – currently or in the past – as well as anyone who might have had a child on the edges of secure care, or in a young offender’s institution.

It’s important to us to hear your views on what secure care is like for children and their families, and hear what you think works well, what could change, and what the future could look like.

To help us hear your views, we’ve developed a few ways of getting involved. You can share your views remotely and in your own time on our online survey, or you can arrange to have a chat with a member of the Reimagining Secure Care team over the phone or on a Microsoft Teams or Zoom call.

As a small token of our thanks, we’re offering a £10 shopping voucher to everyone who takes part.

You can access the online survey at

If you’d like to arrange a chat over the phone or online please contact

Taking part in a Reimagining Secure Care session? Here are some useful Resources

Participant Info Sheet

Participant Consent Form

Session 1 Review

Reimagined Future World Iceberg

Current World Iceberg

Instructions on how to navigate Miro boards and other useful hints for using miro can be found here: Miro Basics, Visual Workspace for Innovation

Any feedback regarding session content or use of Miro is always appreciated – the anonymous online survey can be accessed clicking Qualtrics Survey | Qualtrics Experience Management.

Reports and Governance

Reimagnining Secure Care Interim Report 

Reimagining Secure Care Governance Group

The project governance group membership consists of representatives from the Scottish Government, CYCJ, Dartington Serrvice Design Lab, COSLA and Social Work Scotland. The group is chaired by the Scottish Government, for further information please click HERE.

To submit any comments, feedback, ideas, or suggestions in relation to RSC 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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