Children are treated with care by all staff, and are expected, encouraged and enabled to take responsibility for their own actions and decisions. Staff set clear and fair boundaries. Staff have high expectations of all children and help them to achieve their potential.

21. Children are treated with care and respect for their human dignity at all times. Relationships between children and staff are warm, compassionate and helpful but staff maintain appropriate boundaries.

The following indicators describe evidence that may show this expectation being met, but do not exclude other ways of achieving it.

  • Relationships between staff and children are based on mutual respect. Staff and children are fair and courteous in their day-today interactions with one another.
  • Staff behave in a fair and consistent way, care for children as individuals and respond to their different needs.
  • Staff deployment ensures that children’s individual needs are met sensitively and consistently.
  • Staff show a genuine interest in children and listen to them, giving their time freely.
  • Consultative committees or equivalent consultation processes are held at least monthly, and children are able and encouraged to present any suggestions, or areas of grievance or dissatisfaction, directly to senior members of staff.
  • Staff are professional in their conduct. All staff, including senior managers, lead by example by regularly engaging positively with children.
  • Staff can easily access information about individual children which is based on comprehensive and up-to date information about their needs.
  • Staff take time to build relationships with children and know their strengths and weaknesses. Relationships are purposeful, offering support and challenge where needed.
  • Children have opportunities to get to know staff. Staff wear name badges at all times.
  • All children have someone to turn to if they have a problem.
  • Staff maintain accurate records of children’s progress within the establishment which identify any significant events affecting them. Entries are balanced, detailed and indicate interaction.
  • Staff understand the impact of life experiences, such as trauma, abuse and mental illness, on behaviour.
  • Markers (such as coloured stickers or notes on cell doors) to indicate behavioural problems or concerns are not used where they are visible to children.
  • Staff know how to raise concerns about colleagues’ behaviour or interactions with children. They are not victimised for doing so.

Cross reference with: equality and diversity; time out of cell; daily life – residential services.

22. Children are encouraged and supported to take responsibility for their rehabilitation and to contribute positively to the prison community.

The following indicators describe evidence that may show this expectation being met, but do not exclude other ways of achieving it.

  • Children are helped to take appropriate responsibility for meeting their day-to-day needs.
  • Children are encouraged to attend activities regularly and on time.
  • Staff support and motivate children to engage positively with activities designed to reduce their risk of reoffending and help them to prepare for release.
  • There is an organised and structured peer support scheme, which encourages ‘active citizenship’ within the prison community.
  • Peer workers’ roles are clearly defined.
  • Peer workers receive appropriate training, support and supervision.
  • The peer worker group is involved in consultation activities.

23. Children have an identified member of staff they can turn to on a day-to-day basis who is aware of and responds to their individual needs. Staff provide support and help children to make positive changes in their lives.

The following indicators describe evidence that may show this
expectation being met, but do not exclude other ways of achieving it.

  • Children know the name of their identified member of staff and can access them as an initial point of reference. Frequent changes of staff are avoided. Children have a say in who their identified member of staff should be.
  • Staff know the personal circumstances of children in their care and play an active role in supporting them. Their responsibilities are clear and well-coordinated with other departments.
  • Staff are proactive in maintaining at least weekly contact to discuss overall progress. This is face-to-face and of sufficient duration to allow meaningful discussion and relationship-building.
  • Staff maintain regular contact with children’s families and encourage effective links with them to keep them up to date with children’s progress.
  • Staff are caring and compassionate and support children to make good choices and manage their emotions. Staff attend all meetings and reviews relating to the care and management of the children for whom they are responsible and share information appropriately.

Cross reference with: training planning and remand management; behaviour management; suicide and self-harm prevention; safeguarding of children.

Human rights standards

In relation to expectations 21–23: Human rights standards emphasise that staffing and resources should be sufficient to ensure meaningful interventions for children. Staff should provide positive role models and have adequate training to carry out their roles. See CRC 12; ERJO 18, 19, 88, 127–130, 132; HR 12, 81–87; SMR 5.1, 74.1, 75–77; EPR 5, 8, 71–77, 81, 83, 87.1. The obligation to treat all children deprived of their liberty with humanity and respect for their inherent dignity is also relevant. See SMR 1; EPR 72.1; BOP 1; BPTP 1; ICCPR 10.1.

See also standards relating to safeguarding of children and daily life – consultation, application and redress.