Barnardo’s has been appointed by the Ministry of Justice to provide Independent Children’s Rights and Advocacy Services for children and young people who are resident in the three Secure Training Centres and five Young Offender Institutions across England and Wales, following a competitive tender.
The ‘Your Rights, Your Voice’ service will continue to operate at these establishments under the new five year contract starting from 1 January 2019.
The service champions children held in the Youth Secure Estate by providing specialist advocacy and promoting children’s rights. Whilst retaining its independence from those responsible for operating Youth Secure establishments, the service works closely with these and other establishments, with service-delivery and statutory partners to ensure children’s voices are heard and to influence and shape their experiences of custody. Specialist staff at Barnardo’s have been providing advocacy to these children for the past ten years under two previous contracts.
Javed Khan, Barnardo’s Chief Executive, said:
Children and young people in secure settings are some of the most vulnerable in our society. Barnardo’s is proud to continue to support them and make sure that their views are heard. We have a successful track record in advocating for vulnerable children and helping them play an active role in decisions about their lives.