The link between young offenders in care and youth offending is not a well-documented in contemporary society, drawing on the BBC news (2011) it states that the majority of the 1,600 young people that are retained in young offenders institutions within England and Whales are either in care homes or have been in care homes. Though this has been established very little has been done to find out the core reason as to why youths in care offend to begin with and why then with the support care homes provide do these young individuals re-offend?.
Research question:The central question that I will be looking at is why do young people in care offend and re-offend? To be able to answer this question it is important to look at why certain young people are in care to begin with? Why do youths in care behave in unacceptable ways? Is their behaviour a reaction to bad past experiences? Concentrating on literature by Wickliffe (2012) ‘why juveniles commit crime’ Wickliffe discusses some of the core reasons why individuals are drawn to crime Wickliffe explains that this varies from bad parenting, bad family experiences and peer pressures.
Along with this a broad literature review will be undertaken to explore effectively the possible issues that contribute to youths offending and re-offending. Nature of participants: I will be interviewing 4 males and 4 female participants from care home within Tower Hamlets, aged between 16-19. Also, I will be interviewing 1 male and 1 female support worker to have an insight into their understanding. Ethical considerations: I will explain the nature of my research to the participants, I will explain that all information will remain confidential and participants will be anonymous.
I will explain how the research will be conducted and what will happen to the information once it has been used. Once this has been explained I will give them the option of participating or withdrawing I will then provide them with consent forms before the interview process. Methods: I will be carrying out semi-structured interviews which will produce qualitative data. All participants will be asked set questions which I have organized; the questions asked will be focused on my research questions and research objectives.
I will hand out questionnaires at the end. The potential user of the research can vary from youths in care, young people as a whole, family and friends of those in care, support workers, youth offending team as they all share some similarities which are addressed in this research whether it maybe to gain an insight into why youths in care offend, families dealing with youths with challenging behaviours and what support workers do to help individual youths from committing crimes.
Similarly, the research will help people to become more aware of how negative childhood experiences or peer pressure triggers the young person to want to offend. Moreover, the research will provide information on how the nature of youths in care can be applied through reinforcement of positive behaviour also, what support and help is available for positive change. The three questions I will be focusing on are – Why do young people in care offend?
Is there a tendency for young people to commit more crimes whilst in care? How effective are the support workers?.
Reference: Hardwick, N. (2011). Quarter of young offenders ‘come from care homes’. Available: http://www. bbc. co. uk/news/uk-13548484. Last accessed 10 October 2012 Wickliffe, J, A. (2012). Why juveniles commit crimes. Available: http://www. yale. edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/2000/2/00. 02. 07. x. html. Last accessed 10 October 2012.