Police encounters among a community sample of children and youth accessing mental health services

Liegghio, M., Van Katwyk, T., Freeman, B., Caragata, L., Sdao-Jarvie, K., Brown, K.C., & Sandha, A. (2017). Police encounters among a community sample of children and youth accessing mental health services. Social Work in Mental Health, 15(1), 14-27. Retrieved from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15332985.2016.1156043

 

HERE'S HOW THE AUTHORS DESCRIBE THIS ARTICLE: 

Generally, within the Canadian context, scholarship on police encounters with persons living with mental illness has focused on the experiences of adults and not children and youth. In this article, we present preliminary work of a secondary data analysis of intake statistics collected over a 5-year period (2009–2014) and a thematic content analysis of qualitative intake notes collected over a 2-year period (2009–2011) about police involvement among a community sample of children and youth accessing mental health services. Of 8,920 intakes completed, 1,449 children and youth, birth to 24 years old, had had police involvement at the time of accessing mental health services. Over the 5 years, the average number of young people with police involvement at the time of accessing mental health services was 16%, or one in six children and youth. Analysis of the qualitative intake notes revealed two main reasons for police involvement: (1) support in the home for a distressed child, and (2) concerns about a child’s conduct and behaviors in the community. The implications for social work practice and future research are discussed.

 

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