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Criminal Care? · 8 Mar 2018

Welcome to our new blog

Welcome to the Howard League’s new blog for our programme to end the criminalisation of children in residential care. The programme was launched towards the end of 2016 and so far we have published two briefings – you can read more about these on the project’s home page. You might also wish to read Criminal Care, our original briefing on this issue from earlier in 2016 which first triggered our interest in this area.

In short, we are concerned that children living in children’s homes are being criminalised at excessively high rates compared to other boys and girls, including those in other types of care. We are looking at how call-outs to the police by children’s homes can be reduced and at how the police can better respond to these call-outs when they do happen.

We have started this blog because of the sheer wealth of evidence we are collecting through our work. We have met with and heard from senior police officers and their staff in over half of the 43 police forces in England and Wales. We are seeking the views of children and young people with experience of residential care and have been speaking to children’s homes to learn more about their practice. We’ve also heard from charities, local authorities and other stakeholders in the sector.

There is much more – particularly in the stories of the children and young people we have spoken to – than could ever fit into our publications. This blog will provide an opportunity to dive much deeper into the project and its findings.

Blogs will primarily be written by Claire Sands, the consultant researcher on this project, and Andrew Neilson, our Director of Campaigns. We also hope to include blogs from other Howard League colleagues and from young people themselves as the programme continues.

Andrew Neilson




  • Alice says:

    This is such an important issue I know this happens as I work in children’s social care and young people have the police called on them for things I wouldn’t call the police on my own children for. Also boys and girls placed together and have sexual relationships where the boy gets criminalised due to the relationship surely this is not appropriate placing vulnerable young people together and then wondering why it went wrong and blaming 16 year old boy for what happened. This is happening in middle class areas and the police don’t get called.

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