The endangered London boy moved to Scotland as a result of no secure models have been accessible


A vulnerable 15-year-old boy who had to move to safe shelter had to be brought to Scotland because no suitable unit could be found in England or Wales, a judge heard.

Assistant Supreme Court Justice Leslie Samuels agreed to move to Scotland after learning that council officials in charge of his welfare had unsuccessfully contacted more than 100 specialized accommodation providers in England and Wales.

The judge heard that the boy from London, who did not know where Scotland was, had recently arrived at the unit after an “uncomfortable” 11 hour journey.

He said the case was the latest to highlight the lack of “regulated internships” in England and Wales for “young people in difficulty”.

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Judge Samuels reviewed the boy’s case in recent hearings in the Family Division of the High Court and set out the details in a written decision posted online.

The judge said the boy could not be identified in media reports of the case.

He said the youth was “vulnerable and concerned” and had been in the council’s care for three years.

The boy lived on an internship in London that could not “contain” him or bring him to safety, the judge said.

He was involved in gangs, arrested and stabbed for carrying an “article of a blade and an assault”.

The social services chiefs concluded that he must be in safe accommodation.

“It was clear that the employees at his current workplace could no longer protect him,” said the judge. “He was at an imminent risk of significant harm or death.”

The judge said the council concerned had shown him a “chronology of investigations” in order to find a suitable unit.

“It contains details of a request to more than 100 vendors in England and Wales to determine placement,” the judge said.

“Not a single internship was identified that could or would offer (him) a place.

“It wasn’t until the search was extended to Scotland that an internship could be identified.”

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Sir James Munby, then the oldest family court judge in England and Wales, raised concerns about the lack of safe units nearly five years ago and many other judges have raised concerns since then.

Earlier this year, Justice MacDonald said the lack of suitable units left him no choice but to approve the placement of a suicidal teen in a “sub-optimal” shelter.

Justice MacDonald said in February that the 16-year-old girl was “very worried and vulnerable” and at high risk of self-harm or suicide.

But he said nearly six months after a council filed a motion, and after eleven hearings in the High Court’s family division, there was still no suitable nursing internship available.