Section 17 needs assessments...
...may establish that a duty of care is owed to increasing numbers of young people returning from custody to the community.
As Mr Justice Munby stated in the 2002 Children Act Judgement regarding young people in YOIs, '... very large numbers indeed of the children in the YOIs are, in one sense of the phrase, "children in need" - indeed - children in desperate need'  EWHC 2497 (Admin). The judgement quoted evidence from a Director of Children's Services who suggested that in practice, young people in custody were rarely assessed under section 17. He summed up the issue, stating that some local authorities lack, 'the motivation and resources to exercise their powers'. His overall view was that 'the failure of SSDs - social services departments - to become involved with young offenders is not a question of unwillingness on behalf of SSDs, but simply a reflection of the priorities of resources'.
With research evidencing that young custody leavers are probably the least able group to cope in poorly supported independent living accommodation, this campaign suggests that local resources should be reprioritised in their favour. By doing so, the Secretary of State can then be satisfied that local authorities are both prioritising and promoting the well-being of what are perhaps the nation's most damaged and vulnerable young people. Where resources are not reprioritised, Government will struggle to achieve its 'revolutionary rehabilitative' aspirations with them.