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Department of Sociology

Sociology Department Staff

Publication details for Dr Alison Jobe

Gorin, S & Jobe, A (2013). Young People Who Have Been Maltreated: Different Needs--Different Responses? The British Journal of Social Work 43(7): 1330-1346

Author(s) from Durham


The maltreatment experiences and needs of young people (aged eleven to seventeen) are often very different from those of younger children. As children get older, they become increasingly vulnerable to a broader range of risks. In comparison to younger children, young people are more likely to experience maltreatment outside the home and are more likely to become involved in a range of risk-taking behaviours, which may make them more vulnerable. Additionally, it can be more challenging for social workers to engage young people and their parents in the child protection process. This article draws on the findings of a two-and-a-half-year study that examined the process of referral of young people to Children's Social Care Services in England and initial responses once young people have been referred. Through qualitative interviews with social workers, the paper considers front line social work responses to young people across four local authority areas. The findings highlight the broad and complex range of issues that young people present and document the variation in local responses to this age group. The research highlights the need for a review of the responses that are being used and consideration of which approach works best for young people.