Surfing the Waves of Accountable Compassion: A qualitative study of the emerging trauma-informed culture within North Wales Youth Justice Service
AuthorsBrierley-Sollis, Tegan E.
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AbstractThe thesis describes a qualitative study of trauma-informed practice which draws on accounts of a sample of justice involved children and service providers in North Wales, in order to explore the practicalities of working within a trauma-informed paradigm and how it fits with key principles which exist within the Youth Justice Service (YJS). The study, which was theoretically informed by symbolic interactionism and hermeneutic phenomenology, used qualitative methods comprising semi-structured interviews with justice involved children as well as interviews and focus groups with service providers. The study findings indicate that there is a shift to moving towards working via a trauma-informed lens, and aims to embed trauma-informed practice into the fabric of the YJS. Certain elements within the YJS, namely the child-practitioner relationship, are more advanced with regard to being trauma-informed in comparison to other areas, some of which are external to the YJS. The thesis argues that in order to weave trauma-informed approaches and a culture of understanding into the identity of the YJS, consideration is required with regards to cultural hang-overs, stemming from previous practice, vicarious trauma and the position of relational practice. In conclusion, the thesis suggests that a trauma-informed cultural shift has many benefits for justice-involved children, not only in addressing their behaviour and the emotions potentially lurking behind it, but also in healing and helping to process past experiences. The experiences and contributions from participants in this study collectively advocate utilising a trauma-informed lens across the YJS. However, a cultural change requires careful management and consideration in order to protect staff, particularly from the imprint of trauma narratives and support children holistically. Where this is neglected, the path to trauma-informed could divert to trauma-organised.
CitationBrierley-Sollis, Tegan E. (2022). Surfing the waves of accountable compassion: A qualitative study of the emerging trauma-informed culture within North Wales Youth Justice Service [Unpublished doctoral thesis]. University of Chester.
PublisherUniversity of Chester
TypeThesis or dissertation
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