Children in Custody
The arrest of a child is considered a last resort for dealing with a young person suspected of committing an offence. The arrest and custody process for that young person is likely to have a significant impact on their lives and it is imperative that following that arrest, all statutory services are joined up in safeguarding that child and ensuring support is put in place as soon as possible.
On 18th January 2021, the VRU working with Criminal Justice, Oxfordshire Children Social Care and the Youth Justice Service are piloting a new process to ensure effective information sharing when a young person has been arrested leading to more informed decision making and ensuring support services for that young person are considered at the earliest opportunity on release.
When a young person is arrested and taken to the custody suite, criminal justice staff will ensure that they are assessed by the Health Care Professional (HCP) embedded in the custody suite which will include assessment of their physical and mental health and risk of exploitation. The information regarding the circumstances of the arrest and the HCP assessment will then be shared with Children Social Care (CSC) and the Youth Justice Service (YJS). This will allow both CSC and YJS to share their own information about the young person, enabling the Custody Officer to make a more informed decision about their care whilst in custody and any safeguarding on release.
When the young person is released from custody the information shared by TVP and the HCP will also form the referral to CSC and YJS to consider appropriate support services at the earliest opportunity.