HC Deb 28 May 2004 vol 422 c202W
Chris Ruane

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many children with an assessment of vulnerability have been sent to young offenders institutions in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [175466]

Paul Goggins

Youth Offending Teams make the initial assessment as to whether a child is vulnerable. The ASSET assessment tool developed by the Youth Justice Board (YJB) sets out how the Youth Offending Team (Yot) should consider vulnerability and evidence their concerns. The following factors are taken into account for each childWhether they are bullied, abused or neglected (behaviour of others) Whether they are affected by separation, loss or change of care (other events) Whether they are risk taking, including substance misuse (own behaviour) Whether there are indications of self-harm or suicide concerns.

In deciding on the appropriate placement for each child assessed by the Yot as vulnerable, the YJB (or in some cases, the Prison Service Juvenile Group on behalf of the Secretary of State) takes into account the nature and level of the young person's vulnerability, their age and type of offence, their educational and healthcare needs and other relevant factors, such as proximity to home.

Data on the number of children who were assessed as vulnerable by a Yot and subsequently placed in a Prison Service Young Offender Institution since April 20001, are shown in the table.

1Figures are only available from April 2000 as this was when the juvenile secure estate was established.
April to


Remanded Detention

and Training




2000–01 132 280 20 432
2001–02 872 946 57 1,875
2002–03 1,399 1,347 157 2,903
2003–04 1,635 1,529 173 3,337
1Powers of the Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000.

The Prison Service is committed to ensuring that the children in its care, particularly the more vulnerable, are properly protected and safeguarded. All establishments in the Prison Service juvenile estate have child protection committees and have put in place child protection policies, anti-bullying strategies and procedures for identifying and caring for those at risk of harming themselves.

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