Within the 14 secure children’s homes, there were 165 children accommodated, up 16%, representing 23 more children. However, this is still below the pre-pandemic levels in 2020, and is in line with a longer term gradual decrease in the number of children placed in secure children's homes.
The occupancy rate was 66%, this has not returned to pre-pandemic levels but is up from 56% last year (which was the lowest occupancy rate recorded in the time-period from 2010).
These are based on the number of children accommodated in relation to the number of places approved by the Secretary of State.
The increase in occupancy is due to an increase in placements for criminal justice reasons. mainly from children placed by the local authority in a criminal justice context.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the MoJ reported fewer young people in custody following the initial impact of the pandemic on court proceedings. Local authorities have reported that on occasion throughout the year, staff availability has impacted on the number of available places in some of their residential settings.
Half of children accommodated in secure children's homes are placed by the local authority on welfare grounds.
Children detained or sentenced and placed by the YCS include children detained for, or convicted of, a serious offence under the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 or the Criminal Justice Act 2003; or subject to a Supervision Order with a residence requirement or a Detention and Training Order under the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000.
Children placed by the local authority in a criminal justice context include children remanded by a court under section 102 (Remand to youth detention accommodation) of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012; or accommodated pursuant to section 38 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.
Children placed by the local authority on welfare grounds include children who are placed into the homes by their local authority under section 25 of the Children Act 1989 for the protection of themselves and/or others.