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
    says.

    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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