EFCAP organized two symposia about Adolescent Forensic Research and Psychiatric Services across Europe at the ESCAP congress in Dublin (2013). You can find the two symposia abstracts below.

Adolescent Forensic Psychiatric Services across Europe
Chair: Riittakerttu Kaltiala-Heino (FIN)

Adolescents with severe offending behaviours, particularly violence, pose a challenge to health, social and justice services. It is known that a majority of minors with persistent offending behaviours suffer from mental disorders and developmental problems that are largely unmet when they face the consequences before the law. Their unmet needs are likely to maintain the risk of reoffending and persistent marginalization. Youth justice systems, child welfare services and mental health services differ vastly across Europe. This symposium aims at giving a view at adolescent forensic psychiatric services in different European countries. Through multiagency team work England has succeeded in reducing number of young people in custody down from 3000 to 17 hundred and in diverting far more with mental illness into appropriate services, although change takes time. In Belgium, the Ministry of Health gave the resources in 2004 to start with a residential treatment program for adolescent delinquents with mental health disorders in Antwerp. From 2010 until now the treatment program was adjusted by implementing functional family therapy (FFT) as an outflow-program. Descriptive data concerning psychopathology, wellbeing and recidivism rate will be presented. In Finland, minors only exceptionally end up imprisoned. Child welfare services play a major role in diversion. For young (violent) offenders with severe mental disorders, two adolescent forensic psychiatric inpatient units have been available for 10 years. Experiences of the first of these units are reviewed. EFCAP is the organization for European Forensic Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychology and other involved Professions, with members in Europe as well as in other countries. The aims of EFCAP are 1) to improve the assessment and treatment of children and young people who find themselves in the justice system as well as their families and carers; 2) to improve facilities and to facilitate joint international scientific research; 3) to promote interdisciplinary training and interdisciplinary education; 4) to exchange data obtained from research and to exchange practical experiences and innovative research and treatment methods; 5) to gather information on and to contribute to national and European policy, in so far as this policy affects young people; and 6) to raise awareness of the need for constant change in the criminal and civil justice systems, so as to provide as well as possible for the interests and the development requirements of children and young people. An introduction to EFCAP work and invitation to join are presented.

  • Susan Bailey (UK): Adolescent forensic psychiatric services in England and Wales.
  • Dirk van West (BE): Adolescent forensic psychiatric services in Belgium.
  • Riittakerttu Kaltiala-Heino (FIN): Adolescent forensic psychiatric services in Finland.
  • Theo Doreleijers (NED): EFCAP – promoting adolescent forensic psychiatric work and knowledge across Europe.

Adolescent Forensic Research across Europe
Chair: Riittakerttu Kaltiala-Heino (FIN)

Youth violence is an increasing concern across Western societies. Adolescent forensic research aims at understanding the psychiatric correlates of violent offending, and at creating evidence based treatments for children and adolescents with severe violent and otherwise delinquent behaviors, often presenting with disadvantaged backgrounds, severe developmental difficulties and treatment resistant mental disorders. Adolescent forensic research activities from different European countries are reported in a symposium organized by the EFCAP I EU (umbrella organization for European Forensic Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychology and other involved Professions). Studies from the Netherland will discuss interventions, focusing on explaining reoffending and psychiatric relapse in adolescent forensic psychiatry from Good Lives Model perspective, and on ‘academic youth forensic workplaces’, collaborative initiatives where science and practice inspire each other in order to generate new intervention methods. A Swiss study will present data on psychopathology, personality and self-reported delinquency in a sample of 592 girls and boys in residential care. A Finnish study discusses young people brought to adolescent psychiatric assessment after threatening school massacre; after the two tragic incidents in the country in 2007 and 2008, the number of such threats multiplied. Another study from Finland explores characteristics of severely and persistently violent girls in secure care, drawing a picture of severely disturbed young people with background strikingly disadvantaged even among adolescent forensic patients.

  • Ch. van Nieuwenhuizen, C. Barendregt., I.L. Bongers, A.M. van der Laan (NED). Explaining reoffending and psychiatric relapse in youth forensic psychiatry from a Good Lives Model perspective.
  • K. Schmeck, M. Schmid, M. Koelch, J.M. Fegert (SUI). Delinquent adolescents in Switzerland – results of an epidemiological study.
  • Th. Doreleijers (NED). Overview of the two brandnew ‘academic youth forensic workplaces’ in The Netherlands, collaborative initiatives where science and practice inspire each other in order to generate new intervention methods.
  • N. Lindberg, E. Sailas, R. Kaltiala-Heino (FIN). Adolescents who threaten to commit school massacre. A nation-wide study in Finnish adolescent psychiatric services.
  • R. Kaltiala-Heino, M. Eronen, H. Putkonen (FIN). Why do girls freak out? A study of severely violent girls in adolescent forensic inpatient care.