Beyond individual trauma: towards a multi-faceted trauma-informed restorative approach to youth justice that connects individual trauma with family reparation and recognition of bias and discrimination

Spacey, Meghan and Thompson, Naomi. 2022. Beyond individual trauma: towards a multi-faceted trauma-informed restorative approach to youth justice that connects individual trauma with family reparation and recognition of bias and discrimination. British Journal of Community Justice, 18(1), pp. 18-35. ISSN 1475-0279 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article outlines findings from surveys and interviews with young people and their parents/caregivers in a Youth Offending Service (YOS) in London. The YOS worked to a model of three elements, these being: trauma-informed practice; restorative justice; awareness of unconscious bias. The article presents a literature review that explores these key elements of the YOS model before presenting the findings that emerge from the data. We found the trauma-recovery approach builds resilience, hope for the future, and a positive sense of self-identity in young people. Within this, restorative practice between young people and parents was identified as a unique and impactful form of the trauma-recovery process. Awareness of bias and a non-judgemental approach also appeared to impact positively on young people, with some limitations. Integrating restorative practice and awareness of unconscious bias into the trauma-informed approach built a unique multi-faceted approach to trauma-informed care that took account of individual, family and institutional trauma. This integrated approach makes possible trauma-informed restorative practices centred on reparation of harm done to young people, including by the professionals and institutions that should protect them. We argue that truly restorative trauma-informed youth justice interventions need a combined focus on the individual and systemic traumas experienced by young people in order to recognise how their lives are impacted not just by individual or family problems but by broader issues of structural inequality.

Item Type:

Article

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.48411/vcqn-0794

Keywords:

youth offending, youth justice, trauma-informed practice, restorative justice, unconscious bias, inequality

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS)

Dates:

DateEvent
20 September 2021Accepted
9 November 2021Published Online
25 April 2022Published

Item ID:

30529

Date Deposited:

21 Sep 2021 12:38

Last Modified:

13 May 2022 13:38

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

https://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/30529

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