Educational Psychologists’ involvement with Youth Justice Services in England: A national perspective
Prof Doc Thesis
Gumbs, S. 2023. Educational Psychologists’ involvement with Youth Justice Services in England: A national perspective. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.8wwy0
|Type||Prof Doc Thesis|
Previous studies have explored the special educational needs (SEN) of children and young people (CYP) known to the youth justice service (YJS). Research found that young people who offend (YPwO) have a higher prevalence of SEN compared to the general population. Educational Psychologists (EPs) specialise in working with CYP with additional needs and are well-placed to support CYP known to YJSs and relevant professionals.
There have been few studies which have investigated EPs engagement with YJSs and EPs experiences of working in YJSs. Previous studies have outlined the function of the EP role in YJSs and specified the type of work undertaken by EPs working in this context.
The number of Educational Psychology Services (EPSs) in England which have an EP linked to the YJS has not previously been investigated, and previous literature has not explored the commissioning of EP involvement in YJSs. The research sought to address the identified gaps in research by exploring the number of EPSs which had an EP linked to the YJS (link-EPs), establishing where EPSs with link-EPs were situated nationally, and exploring how EP involvement in YJSs was commissioned. The research also aimed to explore EPs experiences of working in YJSs and the breadth of work undertaken by EPs working in this context.
Seventy-six EPSs and eighteen EPs participated in the research. A mixed methods design which consisted of three data collection methods was used to gather data which addressed the research aims.
Quantitative data was analysed using descriptive statistics and qualitative data was mostly analysed using thematic analysis. Nine themes relating to EPs’ experiences of working in YJSs was identified and ten themes pertaining to the breadth of work undertaken by EPs was highlighted. The identified themes encompassed EPs’ views on the challenging and positive aspects of their role, the nature of work undertaken by EPs, and EPs’ future hopes for their role in the YJS.
EPs and key professionals working with YPwO were encouraged to use a social justice and eco-systemic lens to explore and understand CYP’s offending, support key systems to engage with CYP ethically, and to promote the overall inclusion of YPwO.
|Keywords||Youth Justice Service; Educational Psychologist; Young offenders|
|Publisher||Univerisity of East London|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.8wwy0|
File Access Level
|Online||31 Oct 2023|
|Publication process dates|
|Completed||29 Jul 2023|
|Deposited||31 Oct 2023|
|Copyright holder||© 2023, The Author|
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