As young as eleven years old, children in care are handcuffed like “dangerous animals.”
Politicians requesting that the practice be prohibited have warned that children in care as young as eleven are being chained and treated like “dangerous animals.”
Cages, restraints, and handcuffs should not be used to transport non-custodial children in care, according to a cross-party coalition of MPs and Peers. MP Steve McCabe, chair of the APPG on looked after children and care leavers, is among the signatories to a new campaign called Hope Instead of Handcuffs, which calls on the government to prohibit the practice, which is routinely used by some operators “unless there is a considerable risk of the child harming themselves or others.”
The call, which is backed up by a new report released today, says that the government should adopt a new approach that “treats vulnerable children as victims rather than criminals.”
It also advocates for the creation of a government position to encourage vulnerable children’s mentorship.
It comes after a recent evaluation of social services revealed that the present system often weakens rather than increases a child’s support networks.
The majority of families requesting help from the system were battling in hardship, rather than abusing or neglecting their children, according to the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care.
“Too often, children are relocated far from their homes, separated from their brothers and sisters, forced to change schools, and subjected to a revolving door of social workers,” the report noted.
Josh MacAlister, the review’s lead author, compared the present system to a “tower of Jenga held together with Sellotape.”
Although there are no statistics on how many children are caged, confined, or handcuffed while being transported safely, experts believe it is common practice among some operators.
Bell Ribeiro-Addy, a Labour MP from Streatham, submitted an early day resolution in parliament last week calling for a stop to the practice.
“Children as young as 11 are being handcuffed for even short travels as standard practice among contractors,” claimed Birmingham Selly Oak (Labour) MP Steve McCabe.
“This is not how children in care, who are supposed to be protected by the state, should be treated. It sounds like the kind of thing you’d do with a deadly animal. If this isn’t outlawed, the government will have to register each case, which will necessitate a rationale for how and why.”Brinkwire Summary News”.