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

Article


Porteous, D. and Goodman, A. 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. https://doi.org/10.1108/SC-10-2022-0043
TypeArticle
Title"If I had had a me": the benefits and challenges of involving children with lived experience in youth justice services
AuthorsPorteous, D. and Goodman, A.
Abstract

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.

KeywordsDiversion; Youth justice; Children; Lived experience; Youth offending; Child first
Sustainable Development Goals3 Good health and well-being
Middlesex University ThemeHealth & Wellbeing
PublisherEmerald
JournalSafer Communities
ISSN1757-8043
Electronic2042-8774
Publication dates
Online12 Jun 2023
Print16 Jun 2023
Publication process dates
Deposited04 Apr 2023
Accepted17 Mar 2023
Submitted14 Oct 2022
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
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Copyright Statement

This author accepted manuscript is deposited under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC) licence. This means that anyone may distribute, adapt, and build upon the work for non-commercial purposes, subject to full attribution. If you wish to use this manuscript for commercial purposes, please visit Marketplace(https://marketplace.copyright.com/rs-ui-web/mp)'

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1108/SC-10-2022-0043
LanguageEnglish
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