The Child First Strategy Implementation Project: Translating Strategy Into Practice

Stephen Case*, Ann Browning, Kathy Hampson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

The ‘Child First’ guiding principle for practice in the Youth Justice System of England and Wales has a growing international evidence-base and is fully embedded in policy/strategy, yet remains underdeveloped in consistent, coherent practice across local agencies and areas. This raises the potential for a policy–strategy practice implementation gap. Focus-group consultations (n = 11) with professional stakeholder groups (community, custody, strategy, inspectorate, and research) explored perceptions of the practice challenges to understanding, implementing and supporting Child First. Qualitative analysis identified child-centrism, professional relationships and cognisance as pivotal features of the effective realisation of Child First in practice.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages27
JournalYouth Justice
Early online date30 Aug 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Aug 2023

Keywords

  • child first
  • child-centrism
  • cognisance
  • collaboration
  • consultation
  • implementation
  • professional relationships
  • strategy
  • youth justice

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