When the Police charge a young person with a crime, the young person (and their parent/carer) must appear before a court. The Judge or Magistrates listen to the evidence and witnesses, and then decide whether the young person is guilty. They might then ask for reports to help them understand the young person's behaviour, before deciding on a sentence.
This process usually takes about two-six weeks but for serious cases it can be up to a year before the case is completed. Sometimes the court is worried about the young person's behaviour during that time, for example that they might get into trouble again or hurt someone, or they might forget to attend their next hearing. Because of this courts can make special Bail and Remand Orders even if the young person hasn't been found guilty yet.
When young people are appearing at court, their case sometimes has to be postponed to a later date. They are usually bailed to return on that date, but if the court is concerned about how they will behave then there are other options, including being remanded to Local Authority accommodation. This means that they become "Looked After" by social workers who must make arrangements for them to live in a safe place until the next court date. It does not always mean they will have to leave their family because the social workers and the Youth Justice Service will always try to support them at home first.
If the court thinks that the young person is a danger to themselves or to other people, or that they're going to commit more crimes, then they can order the young person to be remanded to either to a Young Offender's Institute (YOI) or to a Local Authority Secure Children's Home (LASCH). This can mean being locked up a long way from home in a strange environment and it is the last resort for any young person.
Before any young person is remanded, they will always have been interviewed and assessed by a Youth Justice Service officer who will usually talk to their family too. The Youth Justice Service tries to avoid young people being locked up, but sometimes it is necessary. In those cases officers work hard to support the young person. Staff will talk to the secure establishment about the young person's welfare and needs and make sure that their families are helped to stay in touch. They will sometimes help the young person's solicitor to appeal the remand (asking a more senior judge to overturn it).