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Supporting the decriminalisation of children in care

St Christopher’s has supported The Howard League for Penal Reform on their third briefing paper as part of their programme to end the criminalisation of children in residential care.

‘Hearts and Heads’ lists core principles that should apply for every child and young person in residential care. They are all based around one key idea: “Would this be good enough for my child?”

We provided a case study about our experiences of using co-production to alter the way young people in children’s homes are represented in their files. Our young people said it was unfair that staff could read negative things about them that showed only a glimpse of their lives, whilst information that they felt was important about themselves was missed out. Instead, young people created a template file to introduce themselves, list their likes and dislikes, and their best qualities. They also gave staff pointers on how to help them on bad days.

‘Hearts and Heads’ is available to download from The Howard League’s website now.