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Youth justice system failing vulnerable girls

Agenda – Alliance for Women and Girls state that youth justice agencies are failing to give vulnerable girls the support they need because services are too geared towards helping boys.

It is calling for youth offending teams (YOTs) specifically to offer gender-appropriate services.

Debbie Pippard, head of programmes at the Barrow Cadbury Trust, which is co-funding the alliance, says that the pace of change is a real concern and too many YOTs are still failing to act. 

“By making quite simple changes, you can improve outcomes. YOTs should give girls the option of a female officer or case worker, which could help develop empathy. We would want to have women-only group sessions so that girls are not competing with boys for attention.” 

The alliance plans to bring together good practice examples as a “compelling evidence base to try to speed up the pace of change”.