Territorial agencies fail young people

Poor interagency working means social services are “kept in the
dark” when young people in their care enter the criminal justice
system, a report out this week claims.

The study, by charity Revolving Doors, finds that a
“territorial” approach by agencies is blocking the transition of
young offenders between services.

‘It cites cases where agencies are “simply not talking to each
other,” such as when housing agencies are not contacted in advance
of young people leaving custody.

The report highlights a “cliff-edge” of provision when young
people reach the age of 18, with “little or no bridge” between
youth offending teams and the probation service.

“The point at which some services end and others take over
appears to be arbitrary and is inconsistent between services,” it

The report, on the cases of 76 young offenders helped by
Revolving Doors, also raises concern over the impact on young
people’s behaviour of high levels of childhood trauma linked to
physical, emotional and psychological abuse.

“It is critically important that this trauma is recognised and
understood if the young people are to stand any chance of engaging
with the services intended to support them,” the report says.

It also finds that young offenders have an average of two mental
health problems, including depression, anxiety and psychosis, but
are in a “catch 22” of being unable to gain access to support
services without a formal diagnosis.


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