A project providing clinical input to youth justice services informed by principles of trauma-informed practice
Keywords:adverse childhood experiences, child and adolescent mental health, collaborative working, young people involved in offending, youth justice, trauma-informed care , ACEs
Abstract: This article describes an innovative initiative based on principles of trauma-informed care which involves clinicians from a specialist child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) team providing input to youth justice services. At a local level, the project seeks to help address recognised gaps in service provision whereby children and young people involved with the criminal justice system are afforded inconsistent access to care and treatment yet recognised as being at increased risk for having experienced early adversity and suffering mental health difficulties. The article takes stock of the project’s development via reference to three interlinked strands of work it incorporates: work supporting staff; direct work with children and young people; and training workshops for professionals. Reference is also made to the findings of an evaluation of the project. In so doing, the article adds further support to arguments for a senior clinician role in CAMHS provision linked to youth justice services, and the necessity of staff training to embed this role and support the recognition of trauma.