THE OVER-REPRESENTATION OF CHILDREN IN CARE IN THE YOUTH CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: THEORY AND POLICY ISSUES
Placement in child protection services, or becoming a child in care, is associated with a disproportionate involvement in youth and adult criminal justice systems. While there is not extensive research on this relationship, there is evidence that many children in care have risk profiles consistent with criminal justice involvement. This article provides an overview of the prevalence of exposure to risk factors related to mental health, education, and antisocial behaviour among children in care, in addition to risk factors that are distinctive to those placed in child protection services. A recent large cohort dataset from British Columbia, Canada, is utilized to examine these risk profiles. Recommendations to identify those involved in child protection services most at risk for criminal justice involvement, with the use of risk management instruments such as the Cracow Instrument, are discussed. In addition, several other important policy themes regarding diagnostic and case management challenges are explored.
children in care; education; mental health; antisocial behaviour; criminal justice involvement
International Journal of Child, Youth & Family Studies
© University of Victoria
Victoria, BC Canada
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