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These initiatives were driven by Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.
MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.
Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede has not been granted any Urgent Questions
Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede has not been granted any Adjournment Debates
Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede has not introduced any legislation before Parliament
Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting
The safety and wellbeing of children in custody is paramount. While the number of children in custody is at historically low levels, those in custody are a cohort with complex needs. We are committed to improving the safety and life chances for children in our care, investing in staff, education, psychology services and mental health support.
This is underpinned by SECURE STAIRS – the integrated framework of care led by the National Health Service (NHS) and Youth Custody Service (YCS) – which provides the foundations on working with children. We are also continuing to roll out the youth justice specialist role, and have provided funding for every prison officer in the youth secure estate to take up a degree level qualification to provide them with the skills and confidence to work with children in custody. As of March, there were 201 youth justice specialist officers already in post, with a further 319 staff signed up or undertaking the learning.
Following the Urgent Notification at Rainsbrook STC last December, the YCS ordered MTC (the provider) to take immediate action to address the unacceptable failings. This included ensuring all children in the Reverse Cohorting Unit had suitable access to services and more time out of their room. Whilst this has been achieved, significant issues around staffing, safety and on-site operational grip remain. These concerns have been further highlighted by a recently concluded Ofsted inspection, resulting in Urgent Notification being invoked on 18 June. As a result, work has begun to remove all children from Rainsbrook, transferring them to alternative appropriate accommodation within the youth secure estate. Separate to this, we are considering the future of the centre, with a further announcement to be made on this position in due course.
Access to in person Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Programmes (DAPPs) has been adversely affected during the pandemic due to the necessary face-to-face delivery model. We are aware that some providers are continuing to provide a full service, but that others have had to reduce their offer due to social distancing restrictions.
The Government is therefore working with the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) and the judiciary to process cases as quickly and efficiently as possible in order to minimise the impact that the on-going restrictions to this service may have on families using the family courts, and vulnerable children in particular.