Supporting young people who have been in care - HMP&YOI Deerbolt

Nepacs provides support to young men during custody and after release from HMP & YOI Deerbolt near Barnard Castle who have had experience of being in care and may have lost social support networks in the community.  

We aim to improve contact for care experienced prisoners with their local authority personal advisors, families, carers  and significant others; and to improve resettlement outcomes by supporting this group of young people to feel more connected to their communities.  

What support will be provided during custody?

The project worker will work with the care leaver, up to aged 25 years, to help create a support network, through domestic visits, phone calls and letters, for the young person in their home area; to support them whilst serving the sentence but also around the planned release.

The young men also attend our 'Paving the Way' group programme (co-produced by care leavers at HMPs Deerbolt and Low Newton) which focuses on:

  • Building and sustaining positive relationships       

  • Low self esteem and self confidence

  • Improved communication skills

  • Improved emotional health and well-being

  • Develop independent living skills

  • Increased sense of citizenship

Building Bridges

Our 'Building Bridges' project at HMP & YOI Deerbolt is a new 18 month pilot, which started 14 June 2021, funded by the Ministry of Justice. This project will support care leavers 6 weeks before release and then 12 weeks after release in the community - helping to bridge the gap between custody and community. 

The team are also working in partnership with Shannon Trust to help give care leavers the opportunity to gain greater skills in literacy for life.

All prison leavers with care experience being released from Deerbolt will be allocated a Nepacs resettlement coach, volunteer befriender, peer mentor and Shannon Trust literacy mentor - who will work with local authority leaving care teams, prison, probation and other agencies to help get the best outcome for the young men leaving prison. 

Please get in touch with Dawn Simpson if you would like further information about the above projects or for opportunities to develop the work in any way.  Email: 

With thanks to funding from Swire Charitable Trust, HMPPS (HMP Deerbolt) and Ministry of Justice 

Care leaver awareness training

f you are interested in finding out more about the rights and needs of care leavers, particularly those in custody, please check out the training we are offering HERE.