All children and young people in the youth justice system are vulnerable by virtue of their age and developmental immaturity. High numbers of children and young people who come to the attention of youth justice services also have complex support needs, low levels of educational attainment and far more unmet health needs than their peers. SEND is often undiagnosed, with many in this vulnerable group not receiving the support and provision they need to achieve positive change.
In recent years, the custodial population has fallen, with the number of children and young people in custody now standing at just below 1000. This reduced population size presents a real opportunity to better understand SEND in these young people and upskill the professionals who work to support them.