Home Law International Handbook of Juvenile Justice
Special Approved Homes
A small group of the young people who are served with compulsory care orders in accordance with the LVU Act, numbering just over 1000 per year, are subject to the most intrusive form of youth care in the form of a placement at a special approved home.  These youths are between 15 and 20 years old and 30 % of them are girls. There are 24 special approved homes in Sweden, all of which are government-administered institutions, and these are distributed throughout the country with a total of 591 places. The majority of these places (82 %>) are secure, 12 % are non-secure, and the remaining 7 %> are of mixed form (SiS 2015).
Special approved homes are best described as small institutions located in rural areas with a very high ratio of staff to residents (not uncommonly more than three to one).
The reason for placements at special approved homes is often offending behaviour, commonly in combination with either substance abuse or other socially destructive behaviour (SiS 2015:7).
Care placements at special approved homes are usually relatively short. Half of those admitted are discharged after less than 3 months, while only 7 % stay at these institutions for between 1 and 2 years. Less than 2 % remain in care placement for over 2 years (SiS 2015:11). Being discharged from a special approved home rarely involves a complete cessation of care provision. In the majority of cases, care provision continues in a more open form. Only a small proportion of those discharged from special approved homes (approximately one-quarter) are discharged to the parental home or, in extremely rare cases, to their own homes. In these cases, there is some form of continued care provision as well. It is more common for youths to be discharged to another type of non-secure institution or to a foster home, with this occurring in over one-half of discharges from special approved homes (SiS 2015:11).
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