Skip Page Header

Home > Someone to care: the mental health needs of children and young people in the care and youth justice system.

McElvaney, Rosaleen and Tatlow-Golden, Mimi and Webb, Roisin and Lawlor, Eilis and Merriman, Brian (2013) Someone to care: the mental health needs of children and young people in the care and youth justice system. Dublin: Children's Mental Health Coalition.

[img]
Preview
PDF (Someone to care, 2013) - Published Version
1MB

This report hears from eight young adults who have been through the care system and yet show remarkable resilience. They are taking steps to move forward in their lives and have a valuable contribution to make. If we can put in place the right mental health supports for children in the care and youth justice system, we will be building better futures not just for them, but for society as a whole. We will have worked to use our new understanding of their needs to build a transformed future. The lives of our children, all of our children, will ultimately be the better for that.

This report marks what the Coalition hopes will be the beginning of a process. It clearly identifies the need for a coherent and comprehensive national strategy addressing the mental health needs of young people in care and in the youth justice system. The mental health needs of these children and young people should, crucially, be central to any new policy and service developments which are currently underway in the reform of children’s services.

At the heart of this process must be the young people themselves. As experts by experience, they must be involved in the planning, development and delivery of the system. Amnesty International Ireland’s 2011 polling revealed a high level of confidence in children’s ability to make decisions for themselves and in their trustworthiness. Nearly all respondents (86%) agreed it was important children have their opinions taken into account in significant decisions that affect them, while 67% agreed that children are trustworthy when voicing their opinions on decisions that will affect them. We must start listening.


Repository Staff Only: item control page