The Social Exclusions Unit's report in 2002 on reducing reoffending made it clear that 'effective resettlement practice requires a coordinated multi-agency response across the crucial transitions between community and custody that is sustained long after release...'
As such, the resettlement support needs of young people in custody will only be fully met where particularly Children's Services and the YOT jointly remain in contact with the young person they have corporate and legislative responsibility for, and together, facilitate the drafting and implementation of robust resettlement plans that incorporate the other local agencies with statutory responsibilities such as Health and Education. The statistical information relating to the physical & mental health challenges, and also the educational attainment off these young people, make clear the necessity for local strategic multi-agency protocols to be in place.
The legislative responsibilities include the provisions set out in the Crime & Disorder Act, the welfare elements of s.17 of the Children Act, and the responsibilities to safeguard and promote the welfare of young people as set out in s.11 of the 2004 Children Act 2004. Every Child Matters has underpined a long-term programme of change in the way that Children's Services and other key stakeholders work together to help support children and young people and improve the outcomes they achieve in life.
Children and Young Persons Act 2008
More recently, the Children and Young Persons Act 2008 received Royal ascent following the White Paper, Care Matters: Time for Change, setting out the Government's plans to improve outcomes for looked after children and care leavers. The purpose of this Act is to reform the statutory framework for the care system and to ensure that children and young people receive high quality care and support.
Key elements of the new Act include a general duty on the Secretary of State to promote the well-being of children in England, and a requirement on local authorities to take steps to secure sufficient accommodation in their area that is appropriate for the needs of young people they look after. These changes came into effect on the 1st April 2011.