You just get on and do it: healthcare provision in youth offending teams

KHAN Lorraine, WILSON Jane
Centre for Mental Health
Publication year:
95p., bibliog.
Place of publication:

This paper shows the results of a study of healthcare provision in youth offending teams (YOTs) in England. The study also reviewed mental health diversion work along the youth justice pathway to look at how these services might be better developed to improve outcomes for young people and their families. Between August 2007 and December 2008 visits were made to 20 YOTs serving both rural and urban communities, and semi-structured face to face interviews were completed with 55 professionals. In addition, telephone interviews were also completed with a further 10 YOT health practitioners and with 6 adult mental health court liaison sites, a postal survey was sent to 13 YOTs with no health practitioner, and visits were made to 6 adult court mental health teams and to 2 youth courts. The study found a very wide range of models in place for meeting the health needs of young people in YOTs. The main barriers to obtaining adequate and consistent health care provision are discussed with regard to the following areas: commissioning; the YOT management board; supporting needs across the entire youth justice pathway; screening and assessment; access to services; health and mental health interventions provided within YOTs; and gaps in service provision and knowledge. Recommendations are provided for ways to improve the healthcare provision to which young people in YOTs are entitled and which has the potential not only to achieve better outcomes but also to produce long-term cost savings to the national economy. Also provided is a commissioning toolkit setting out the components of a comprehensive health service for young people in contact with the youth justice system.

Subject terms:
intervention, outcomes, young offenders, youth offending teams, child and adolescent mental health services, commissioning, health care, health needs;
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