New report: Chief Social Work Officers and Secure Care

Date: 16th May 2017
Category: Family Environment and Alternative Care

This report explores how the role and responsibilities of Scotland's Chief Social Work Officers (CSWOs) in relation to secure care are translated in practice.

The study conducted in-depth interviews with 21 out of 32 local authorities, and progresses the valuable work of the Secure Care National Project, funded by the Scottish Government and based at the Centre for Youth and Criminal Justice (CYCJ).

The intention was to shine a light on this highly vulnerable group of children and young people, and on the decision-making processes and systems that bring them into secure care, the most restrictive and intensive form of care available. The CYCJ were keen to better understand and start a dialogue about secure care and how it is being used across local authority areas.

Some of the key findings included:

  • CSWOs had differing perceptions of secure care and whether it is felt to be a protective or punitive response to troubled young people;
  • The need for improved knowledge and awareness of the secure care centres by CSWOs;
  • The pressure CSWOs find themselves under when determining whether to implement a secure order, against the context of extremely vulnerable and traumatised young people;
  • Lack of clarity as to the current and future purpose, and efficacy, of secure care;
  • The need for ongoing dialogue around use, function and perceptions of secure care.
  • Download 'Chief Social Work Officers and secure care' here.