Gove to advise on drive to end criminalisation in care

family law, Ministry of Justice

Michael Gove has will head an advisory board providing input on efforts to end the criminalisation of children in care.

The frequently controversial former Minister left the government in July after failing to win the leadership of the Conservative Party.

The advisory board will assist a two-year initiative by legal charity the Howard League for Penal Reform. The organisation has previously called attention to the overuse of the Police by some residential care home staff in response to minor disciplinary issues that would be dealt with entirely by the children’s parents within a normal family situation. As a result teenagers in care are 20 times more likely than those living with their families to end up in the criminal justice system – and six times more likely than children living with foster families.

The two year initiative will focus on best practice within this complex situation and aim to reduce the number of children in care who are criminalised.

The charity’s chief executive Frances Cook explained:

“There are two major questions we shall seek to answer. Firstly, how can children’s homes be encouraged to manage children’s behaviour without recourse to the police? And secondly, in those cases when the police are called out to homes, what can be done to avoid a child being unnecessarily criminalised?”

She added:

“I am particularly pleased to welcome the involvement of Michael Gove, who has spoken so eloquently in the past about doing the best for troubled children in our society.”

Photo of Michael Gove courtesy of Policy Exchange via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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