Tag Archives: young offenders

Professor Brian Littlechild lends his experience in the field of mental health to new development group

Professor Brian Littlechild has been appointed to the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the Royal College of Psychiatrists Guidelines Development Group on ‘Violence and aggression: the short-term management of violent and physically threatening behaviour in health settings guidance’.

The development group will produce a report in 2015, updating the current NICE (2005) guidance (http://www.nice.org.uk/nicemedia/live/10964/29719/29719.pdf) which consists of recommendations and good practice.

Brian has carried out many research projects throughout his career, and has published widely in the areas of violence in mental heath work and child protection work as well as the risk assessment of aggression and violence. He also manages research and development projects on mental health issues in partnership with mental agencies/professionals and service users, including work on EU and DH Benefits for Patients programme funded projects.

Previously a social worker in mental health and child protection, Brian was one of the first to start training social workers in dealing with aggressive and violent clients over thirty years ago. He has worked extensively with a wide variety of agencies in policy development, and with their managers and front-line staff on anticipating and dealing with violent situations, and on how to access support before, during and after such violence. He also has provided debriefing for victims and published on working with perpetrators of aggression and violence and continues to work with young offenders and their families.

Social Measures, Education and Rehabilitation of Young Offenders

Guest post by Professor Brian Littlechild, Associate Head of School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work


My recent studies have culminated in a comparative piece of work across the UK and Europe which I undertook for the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly on ‘Social Measures, education and rehabilitation of young offenders’, which is being examined by their Social, Health and Family Affairs Committee.

My analysis and comments on this subject are based on twenty years of research studies and articles/book chapters, as well as direct practice with young offenders, which is still on-going.

The study looked at how to work with young people and parents to take more responsibility for their actions, whilst at the same time allowing for those young people to still be open to positive socialising influences.  Ethnicity and faith based issues, restorative justice and community programmes, custody, targeting services, young people and their parents in defined geographical areas were all part of this work.

Some examples of some specific programmes recommended were:

  • Provide support for teachers in schools for citizenship and relationship skills, and dealing with difficult behaviour
  • Mentoring, using volunteers, appropriate peers and part-time sessional workers who have credibility with young people in that area/ethnic/faith group
  • Community development/ youth work with ethnic minority/faith   groups in  identified geographical areas
  • Provide parenting programmes based on disadvantaged, high crime, low educational attainment areas
  • Develop restorative justice programmes
  • Develop intensive fostering schemes