ACP response to Lord Laming review of care leavers in the criminal justice system

The ACP has submitted its response to an indepdendent review launched earlier this year to examine why many children who have spent time in care end up in the criminal justice system.

It is being led by Lord Laming who has previously chaired inquiries and reviews looking at failures to protect children known to be at risk.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast in June he said the state "not only has a duty to be a parent, but it has a moral responsibility to be a really good parent" to children in need of care.

The review will examine the significant over representation of children and young people with experience of care in the criminal justice system. In a survey of 15 to 18 year olds in young offender institutions, a third of boys and 61 per cent of girls said they had spent time in local authority care. This is despite fewer than one per cent of all children in England being in care.

The Prison Reform Trust, which established the review, said looked after children aged between 10 and 17 years are more than five times as likely to be convicted or subject to a final warning or reprimand than other children.

For nearly two-thirds of looked after children, the main reason they are in care is that they have suffered abuse or neglect. Only two per cent are taken into care primarily because of their own socially unacceptable behaviour.

Commenting on the review Lord Laming said: "We cannot stand by and allow wasted opportunities to result in wasted later lives. We are determined to ensure this review makes practical recommendations to enable key services to work together to help children in care transform their life chances and stay out of trouble."

The review team will also invite oral submissions at its meetings, to be held six-weekly in London, and will visit at least one young offender institution and other projects around England and Wales as part of the evidence gathering process. The review is expected to report early in 2016.

Read the ACP response to the review, which was compiled by Alison Roy, here