Children are accommodated by the state in England in a variety of places, from secure welfare units to Tier 4 mental health beds and young offender institutions. In order to promote transparency and improve outcomes for these children who are locked out of sight, the Children’s Commissioner uses the full range of her powers to gather data and to visit children accommodated in health, criminal justice and welfare settings. Data and information gathered is used to assess where these children are, how far from home they are, and what we know about their welfare.
An investigation into mental health provisions offered to children and young people in custody or living in healthcare settings, highlighting the lack of services and gaps in provision for these highly vulnerable groups will be carried out in collaboration with the Care Quality Commission.
The number of girls under 18 in custody has fallen dramatically over recent years. At any time, there are now in the region of 30 – 40 girls in prison in England. The Children’s Commissioner and Dame Louise Casey have visited these girls to learn about their lives before entering custody and to understand the factors that led to them being imprisoned and what, if anything, could have been done to change their trajectory. Voices from the Inside will reflect on the experiences of the girls as they grew up and recount their story.