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NCJ Number: 205242 Find in a Library
Title: Mental Health Support for Youth Offending Teams: A Qualitative Study
Journal: Health & Social Care in the Community  Volume:11  Issue:1  Dated:January 2003  Pages:55-63
Author(s): Jane Callaghan; Bridget Young; Francis Pace; Panos Vostanis
Date Published: January 2003
Page Count: 9
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This study explored the views of professionals working in youth offending teams (YOT) on a new model for providing mental health services to youth within an interagency setting in the United Kingdom.
Abstract: Previous research has established the complex mental health needs of young offenders. In the United Kingdom, the need for mental health services among youthful offenders often goes unmet. Interagency YOT’s were established in 1998 under the Crime and Disorder Act with the objectives of providing an integrated approach to responding to the needs of young offenders; reducing crime among youthful offenders; and to facilitate the effective delivery of youth justice services. YOT’s are generally made up of a team of staff from education, probation, police, and health and social services. The current study brought together 17 YOT professionals from 2 YOT’s, 1 in an inner-city are and the other in a rural/semi-urban area, to participate in 4 focus groups. The objective of the focus groups was to examine the perceptions of YOT professionals about the role of mental health care professionals within the team and their views of a new model of providing mental health services within the YOT service. Analysis of qualitative data was based on a modified model of grounded theory. Results indicated that YOT professionals perceived youthful offenders as having extensive mental health needs. Four main these emerged from the focus group discussions: the role of the primary mental health worker within the YOT; previous experiences of YOT professionals; issues of interagency working; and recommendations for the future. Generally, the assessment and interventions roles of mental health care workers, as well as their accessibility and responsiveness, were highly valued among the YOT teams. Mixed responses were received regarding the role definitions within the YOT’s, consultation, and training. Overall, the focus group results indicated that providing mental health services through primary mental health care workers is a useful model for serving high-risk clients with multiple and complex mental health needs. Limitations of the study include a focus on only YOT members and not their youthful clients. References
Main Term(s): Offender mental health services; Youthful offenders
Index Term(s): Team treatment; United Kingdom (UK)
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