Northumberland is now recruiting volunteers to contribute to the development of a multi-agency protocol to reduce the unnecessary criminalisation of looked after children and care leavers. It is Northumberland’s response to the national protocol now being implemented by the DfE, Home Office and Ministry of Justice.
The aim is: to gain a commitment from all agencies working with children and young people in Northumberland that wherever possible we will seek to reduce the chances of children and young people who are looked after or care leavers having a criminal record.
Although the number of looked-after children and care leavers entering the criminal justice system has dropped considerably over the last 10 years, they are still over-represented and this affects their life chances. The vast majority enter care due to abuse and neglect, and this trauma and abuse has an impact on emotional and behavioural development This can result in behaviour perceived as challenging and we must ensure that in education settings our response to incidents does not initiate or exacerbate negative behaviour and contribute to unnecessary police involvement or criminalisation.
There are 7 workstreams now underway, one of which is Education, Training and Employment. If you are interested in getting involved then could you contact Jane Walker (firstname.lastname@example.org, 01670 622734) by Monday 18th February 2019.
Involvement will mean attendance at a minimum of three multi-agency meetings – one each half term between now and July 2019 – and contributing to a workplan which will ensure that all education providers commit to the protocol and have access to the appropriate training and guidance to ensure it is followed.
For further information just contact Jane, or read the government guidance on the national protocol which you can view here.