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Beyond ‘anger management’: developing multi-modal offending behaviour work for young offenders and their families

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Conference paper

  • Ben Harper
Publication date19/05/2012
<mark>Original language</mark>English
Eventbritish psychological society, annual conference - London, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 18/04/201219/04/2012


Conferencebritish psychological society, annual conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


Background: Youth Offending Services (YOS) are responsible for delivering Offending Behaviour Programmes (OBP) for young people charged with anti-social behaviour in England and Wales. There appears to be a tension between the symptom based approach prescribed by court orders and the complexity of problems that young people present with in YOS. YOS are often requested to deliver ‘anger management’ to a population that have disproportionately higher rates of cognitive difficulties, mental health problems and family functioning issues than the general population (YJB, 2008).

Key points: The workshop will review current approaches to managing violent and anti-social behaviour within community settings for young people deemed to be ‘high risk’ to others, with a focus on a pilot programme developed in collaboration with a specialist YOS CAMHS, the University of Liverpool and YOS colleagues. The proposed model is based on an established Cognitive Behaviour programme titled ‘Problem-Solving: Learning Usable Skills’ (PLUS+) which has been adapted to include family and individual treatment sessions. This ‘Multi-Modal’ model involves 16 sessions of offence focused group-work, eight to 16 sessions of individual work and six to eight family sessions for parents/carers. The programme aims to develop young people’s repertoire of interpersonal and problem-solving skills in addition to developing offence behaviour analysis skills. These skills are enhanced through parallel sessions with families involved in the intervention programme.

Conclusions: Delegates are invited to discuss how we meaningfully respond to working with violence and risk in community settings with treatment approaches that involve both young people and the families/carers who support them.