Good communication is the gateway to learning, friendships, academic achievement and success at work

Youth Justice Best Practice Case Studies

At least 60% of young people in the youth justice system have communication needs (1). If the needs of these young people are not supported there can be profound implications:

  • A young person may not understand what people say to them or find
    it difficult to get their message across in a police interview, a court appearance or a meeting with a Youth Offending Team (YOT).
  • A young person may breach the terms of his/her order, simply because they do not understand the language, days of the week or time.
  • A young person may not be able to follow education and wellbeing programmes as their listening and understanding skills are significantly below age-related expectations.

In recognition of this, The Communication Trust has developed a series of case studies with youth justice settings to showcase effective approaches for supporting young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).


Case studies


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(1) Bryan, K and Mackenzie, J (2008) Meeting the Speech Language and Communication Needs of Vulnerable Young People


Related resources:

Sentence Trouble is a guide written for YOTs to raise awareness of communication needs and how they may affect young people's abilities to communicate, engage and understand. It also includes approaches to identify and support SLCN.

Sentence Trouble Film - This film has been produced the improve the skills and confidence of youth offending teams, lawyers, secure estate staff, magistrates and the police so they are able to recognise SLCN and reflect on their own communication skills.