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Published, 11 May 2017

CYCJ study 'shines a light' on Chief Social Work Officers and secure care

A ground-breaking study by the Centre for Youth & Criminal Justice (CYCJ) has been praised for highlighting the current issues, challenges and opportunities for Chief Social Work Officers working with young people in, and on the edges of, secure care.

The study, conducted through in-depth interviews with 21 out of 32 local authorities, focused on perceptions of secure care by Chief Social Work Officers (CSWOs), and of CSWOs' and local authority approaches to the use of secure care in Scotland.

Claire Lightowler, Director of CYCJ, said: "Our intention was to shine a light on this highly vulnerable group of children and young people, and the decision making processes and systems that bring them into secure care, the most restrictive and intense form of care available. We wanted to start a dialogue about secure care and how it's being used across local authority areas, and I think we have achieved this.

"There are some strong messages coming out of this work, and the findings and recommendations call for better practice and knowledge exchange across CSWOs and local authority areas, and Health and Social Care Partnerships. They highlight gaps in how some young people are supported pre-admission, at admission, and during a secure care placement and afterwards, and a need for improved knowledge and understanding about the current secure care centres across the CSWOs."