Children’s Commissioner for England report: Who are they? Where are they?

There were 1,465 children in England securely detained in 2018, of whom 873 were in held in youth justice settings, 505 were in mental health wards and 87 were in secure children’s homes for their own welfare.

This is according to the May 2019 report (pdf) from the Children’s Commissioner for England. This report shines a light on the hundreds of children in England who are locked up in institutions across the country.

The report aims to identify who these children are and where they living, the costs of keeping them locked up, whether these institutions always meet their complex needs and whether different decisions could have been taken to prevent these children being locked away.

The report finds:

  • Medium Secure Mental Health Settings are the most expensive form of provision, at £1,611 a day or £588,015 a year
  • Secure Children’s Homes have an estimated cost per child of £210,000 per year, with Secure Training Centres at £160,000 a year and Young Offender Institutions at £76,000
  • There are an additional 211 children whose Deprivation of Liberty has been authorised by a court, who are locked away but whose whereabouts in the system is invisible
  • Even for those children we know about, there is only limited information about how long children stay in secure settings, how long they wait for a place, whether they face delays in the transfer of care to the community and what happens when they leave.

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