Independent court assessment of young people in criminal proceedings
The psychological assessment of young people charged in criminal proceedings aims to assist the court in understanding the significant emotional and psycho-social factors relating to the development of the individual in his family and his engagement in the wider world. The assessment explores how these developmental factors may contribute to offending behaviour.
The assessment includes direct meetings with the young person and significant adults. This is set in context of liaison with professionals working with the young person and the family/carers and includes liaison with social workers, youth justice workers, general and specialist mental health staff, teachers and pastoral care staff.
The assessment explores the capacity of the young person to think about and understand his/her behaviour and the impact this has on the lives of others and on their own lives now and in the future.
The assessment and understanding of the level of risk posed by the young person is central, as is consideration of sentencing and treatment options which aim to reduce immediate and long-term risks associated with the offending behaviour.
Many young people who enter the criminal justice system have experienced considerable emotional and social deprivation in their family lives. A more complex understanding of the relationship between offending and developmental issues may assist in sentencing which offers a more significant possibility of change.
Consultation to statutory and voluntary organisations caring for children and families
Professionals working with troubled and troubling children - often in the context of highly disturbed and disturbing families - have a demanding and complex task. Their work often calls for an intense level of thoughtful direct contact and organisational work which is consistently and highly demanding at an emotional level.
Child psychotherapists are skilled and experienced in understanding child development with its challenges and difficulties for child and family, and in understanding the individual child’s perspective on life and himself. We also have particular expertise in understanding organisational complexity of working with families in difficulty, especially the powerful emotional impact on individual workers and on the professional network of working intensively with children and families in distress.
I offer supervision, consultation and training to professionals including social workers, youth offending staff, school and nursery staff, foster carers, kinship carers and adoptive parents.