Secure care in Scotland is the most containing and intense form of alternative care available. It is aimed at the very small number of children and young people whose situations and circumstances result in serious worries that their behaviours pose a high risk of significant harm to themselves and/or others, so that for a particular period, they and/others can only be kept safe through detention in the highly controlled setting of secure care.
Children and young people can be placed in secure care through the Children’s Hearings System (the CHS) or the Courts. Robust regulations and requirements are in place, aimed at ensuring young people are only secured when and only for as long as absolutely necessary, and that they receive appropriate transition support during and following secure care.
Young people in secure care are almost always those who’ve experienced childhood adversity and difficulties such as significant losses, abuse, neglect, trauma and disrupted home and school lives.
Since December 2016, there have been 84 secure care places in Scotland. Four independent charitable organisations each deliver a certain number of placements:
- Good Shepherd Centre (Bishopton): 18 places
- Kibble Education and Care Centre (Paisley): 18 places
- Rossie Young People’s Trust (Montrose): 18 places
- St Mary’s Kenmure (Bishopbriggs): 24 places
The fifth centre is run by City of Edinburgh Council, which currently provides six places.
Secure Care National Project
CYCJ is home to the Secure Care National Project, commissioned by Scottish Government to undertake an independent, strategic and practice focused review of secure care in Scotland.
Led by Alison Gough, the Secure Care National Advisor, between August 2015 and March 2016, the project worked with a wide range of sector leads, partners and care experienced young people to:
- ensure the effective delivery of service to children in secure care
- review current trends, achievements and risks
- make recommendations to partners about future configuration of the secure estate
The Secure Care National Project has now entered a new phase of work, supporting the Strategic Board for Secure Care in Scotland. We continue to work closely with the following bodies with the aim of securing a better future for Scotland’s children and young people.
CELCIS (the Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland) is dedicated to making positive and lasting improvements in the wellbeing of children and young people living in and on the edges of care, and their families, across the whole country, and the globe. Find out more.
Spotlight on secure care
Monthly updates on secure care and related topics will be provided in the CYCJ e-bulletin every month and shared here.
Key reports and documents
IRISS FM podcast: Between a rock and a hard place
Get in touch with email@example.com for more information or to discuss collaborative working opportunities.