Joint guidance on mental health in the youth justice system

Policy implementation guidance to address the mental health problems of children and young people in the youth justice system.


Policy implementation guidance: addressing mental health problems of children and young people in the youth justice system

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format.

If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.


Health is one of the policy areas devolved to the National Assembly for Wales and Welsh Government.

The Youth Justice Board for England and Wales (YJB) and the Welsh Government work together to ensure that the mental health needs of children and young people in contact with the youth justice system are appropriately identified and addressed.

This guidance takes a system approach to the liaison and diversion pathways between youth justice and health.

It is for:

  • service commissioners
  • providers within health
  • youth justice and allied services such as the police and the wider local authority

It will help professionals and practitioners concerned with children’s services:

This guidance helps the Welsh Government:

  • meet its statutory responsibilities according to the Crime and Disorder Act 1998
  • discharge its duties and obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

The YJB has joint governance arrangements with the Welsh Government. This helps it to oversee and support the implementation of the objectives set out within this guidance. This is also be basis for the YJB’s advice and guidance to the sector within Wales.

For more information, read:

the Welsh Government ‘Together for Mental Health’ strategy

the joint Welsh Government and YJB youth justice strategy ‘children and young people first’

Published 1 October 2014