Source: (2008) Highlight no. 242. Library and Information Service. National Children's Bureau.

Statistics show that young people in residential child care are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice arena.This situation has arisen not necessarily because children in care are more likely to offend but because, in the absence of effective alternatives, the response of care staff to extremely disruptive behaviour has often been to call the police, who, when they arrive, are obliged (again, in the absence of effective alternatives) to deal with the behaviour as if it were a crime.11 It has been argued that using a restorative approach instead can divert children in care from the criminal justice system by ensuring that the incident is dealt with by staff in such a way that both wrongdoer and those affected reach a mutually agreed way forward without recourse to the police. This reasoning was the rationale behind the introduction of a formal process called ‘restorative conferencing’ into certain children’s care homes several years ago. (excerpt)