Resources to Support Young People with SEND in Custody

The materials in this pack have been derived from a collaborative effort between the SEND Custody Project (2015-16) and a group of young people with Special Educational Needs and / or Disabilities (SEND) in the secure estate.

The SEND Custody project, which was led by Sheffield Futures was funded by the Department for Education National Prospectus Grant. The project was commissioned to deliver training on the 2014 SEND reforms to workers from Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) and the secure estate in South and West Yorkshire. A key element of the project was to represent the thoughts and feelings of young people with SEND in the youth justice system. Project staff went into custodial institutions where 60 young people with SEND volunteered to meet with them and discuss their experiences.

Communication difficulties are a common issue around SEND young people and project staff found that visually engaging materials were a big aid to discussions. Some young people became so enthused that they worked with project staff to share their ideas and thoughts about the type of materials that might be useful to use with similar young people.

This pack has been developed with reference to and consideration of their ideas. The hope is that it might help other SEND young people to reflect upon and understand their experiences in custody and thereby ease the transition back into the community. Our intention is that it can be used by anyone working in the youth justice system with either young people or their families, for example:

  • YOT case managers
  • Police
  • Court staff
  • Custody staff
  • Social workers
  • Legal advisers

The young people who took part in the project were at either Wetherby Young Offender Institution or Aldine House Secure Children’s Centre. All were age15-18 and male, reflecting the general custodial population in the region. This is also reflected in the imagery used in the pack. They received no material payment for taking part in this project and we would like to thank them for their enthusiasm, commitment and creativity.

You can see the resources here and order paper copies, contact: Russell.Allan@sheffieldfutures.org.uk

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