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Comment: Allegations of abuse and neglect in custodial settings

Jenny Coles, ADCS Vice President, said:

“Children and young people in custody are vulnerable, many have complex and overlapping health and social care needs. It’s vital that these children are kept safe and that staff in custodial settings are trained and equipped with specialist skills and knowledge, including in the safe use of restraint, to properly support the children in their care. Restraint should only be used where absolutely necessary and should be reasonable and proportionate to the circumstances; it should never be used to deliberately inflict pain on children. Local authorities take our safeguarding duties very seriously and will investigate all allegations received. Local authorities work with partners right across the safeguarding and youth justice system from police, probation and health services to education settings and urgently require the necessary levers to address welfare concerns arising in secure settings to ensure that children’s needs are properly met. We’re in discussion with the YJB about the health, safety and wellbeing of children and young people in the youth justice system as well as the oversight and governance of these nationally commissioned services operating in local areas.”


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