An invisible minority

Care leavers are an invisible minority within the Criminal Justice System. Legislation, including the Children Act 1989 and Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000, has made few significant improvements in outcomes for these care leavers – the number engaged with the Criminal Justice System has remained constant across the last decade, according to data produced by the Social Exclusion Unit in 2002.

Indeed, it would be safe to state that the issues and over representation of this group in criminal justice settings was an issue long before 2002. Through our work we meet many care leavers who left care before the Children Act 1989 and who are still stuck in the system. Astoundingly, and shamefully, the issue of why has not been explored within the sector; despite the situation ruining lives, and costing the state more in resources.

The CLA is one of a few organisation seeking to find answers, and taking a user led focus to the problem – subverting traditional hierarchical methods of top down and command and control prevalent in the Criminal Justice System today.

In 2019 we released a report “Effectively Abandoned” based on our work to that point in time. CJS Report 2019 edit

Since 2013 we have been working in 3 main areas:

  • Changing policy and practice through seminars and campaigning

Multi Agency Seminars

  • Supporting care leavers in the community through the Clear Approach
    You can download our Evaluation report for the Clear Approach project here Clear Approach Evaluation Report

Clear Approach

  • Supporting care leavers in prison through peer support groups

Peer support groups