'If I had had a me': the benefits and challenges of involving children with lived experience in youth justice services

Porteous, David ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5530-4325 and Goodman, Anthony (2023) 'If I had had a me': the benefits and challenges of involving children with lived experience in youth justice services. Safer Communities, 22 (3) . pp. 172-185. ISSN 1757-8043 [Article] (doi:10.1108/SC-10-2022-0043)

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This article presents the findings from an ongoing evaluation of a partnership project between a youth justice service and an independent charity which supports the involvement of children with lived experience of youth justice services in work with other young people who have offended and with policy makers and service providers. The research involved the secondary analysis of project records and 15 semi-structured interviews with youth justice managers and practitioners and the charity's staff as well as representatives from external organisations with whom it has worked. The analysis focuses on the nature of activities undertaken, the 'theory of change' driving these activities, the perceived benefits of the work as well as some of the challenges involved. The findings suggest positive outcomes for children in terms of increased engagement and participation, improvements in confidence and self-esteem and the development of personal, social, health and educational skills. The project represents a compelling example of what child first diversion looks like in practice. The article adds to existing knowledge of the benefits and challenges of involving children with recent experience of the youth justice system in service delivery and in co-production work with policy makers and service providers. It also offers insights into recent changes in youth justice policy in England and Wales, in particular the commitment to treating children as children first.

Item Type: Article
Sustainable Development Goals:
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Criminology and Sociology
Item ID: 37755
Notes on copyright: The 'Author Accepted Manuscript' (AAM) attached is deposited under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial International Licence 4.0 (CC BY-NC 4.0).
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Depositing User: David Porteous
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2023 09:00
Last Modified: 16 Jun 2023 21:19
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/37755

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