Trusting children to enhance youth justice policy: The importance and value of children’s voices

Case, Stephen, Haines, Kevin, Creaney, Sean, Coleman, Nicola, Little, Ross and Worrall, Victoria (2020) Trusting children to enhance youth justice policy: The importance and value of children’s voices. Youth Voice Journal. ISSN 2049-2073 (In Press)

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The voices of children in conflict with the law have been neglected across history. As a consequence, youth justice policies and practices have been developed by adults, for adults, in the absence of meaningful input from children. In direct contrast, the progressive ‘Children First’ model of youth justice (Case and Haines 2015; see also YJB 2020, 2019) prioritises the role of children’s voices, perspectives and lived experiences in the design, implementation and evaluation of youth justice services, employing engagement and participation mechanisms to promote positive behaviours/outcomes (e.g. children’s ability to access their universal entitlements ). Therefore, Child First has been championed as an ideal vehicle for integrating children’s voices in the evidence-based development of policy in youth justice and related fields (e.g. education, health, social care), whilst avoiding the contemporary negative and invalidating excesses of dominant adult-centric, deficit-led responses to offending and other ‘problem’ behaviours by children (Case and Haines; 2015). This article examines the nascent evidence-base of participatory, engaging and Child First research that seeks to facilitate the meaningful co-creation of youth justice processes (between children and professionals) in order to respond in valid ways to the lived experiences of children who offend.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: L400 Social Policy
L900 Others in Social studies
M900 Other in Law
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Northumbria Law School
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2020 10:25
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2020 10:30

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