When a young person is charged with a crime and is awaiting a court appearance, magistrates can place them on remand.
This is not the same as a prison sentence, which can only be imposed if the person has been convicted of a crime. Instead it is an order that keeps the young person in a secure location before a trial date and means they are safe and cannot commit further offences.
Placing a young person in a remand centre or adult prison while awaiting trial is a very drastic step that courts do not take lightly; an alternative to incarceration is the use of remand fostering.
Remand fostering is specialist foster care, where the children or young people are facing a court appearance. A young person who is accused of a crime might well exhibit signs of anxiety, distress or worry and you will need to be as supportive and understanding as possible.
You might find that young people on remand who you foster have already had previous convictions, but courts will normally place young people accused of serious offences in secure accommodation.
Part of your role will be to make sure that the young person in your care attends bail hearings and meets with solicitors, many will have chaotic lifestyles and lack the organisational skills needed to comply with the court’s wishes.
In addition to this, a young person on a remand foster placement might have the opportunity to show that they can interact with society in a positive way. This will be vital if they are convicted, as it might form the basis of pre sentencing reports ordered by the court to guide the judges in their decision making.
Remand foster caring is a challenging role for any carer but it can be one of the most rewarding. A young person’s future often hinges on the type of care they receive before they face a courtroom and the right carer can have an immense impact.
If you are considering becoming a foster parent and would like to work with Children First Fostering Agency, an organisation that values experience, insight and mentoring its carers, simply contact us on 0808 178 1144