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Barriers and gaps within services which affect Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic access to community Forensic CAMHS

Bethany Holt (Fielding Hospital, South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Wakefield, UK)

Journal of Criminal Psychology

ISSN: 2009-3829

Article publication date: 28 April 2022

Issue publication date: 19 May 2022




This paper aims to determine any barriers and gaps within one community Forensic Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (FCAMHS) provision for young people presenting with risk of harm to others or involvement with the youth justice system, from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.


This study presents a systematic review of literature into the barriers and gaps within community FCAMHS, which showed little research in the area. Because of this, referral numbers for five major cities within the Yorkshire and Humber community FCAMHS region were compared to population statistics and youth justice caution and sentencing data.


Comparison suggests that BAME young people are under-represented across referrals to community FCAMHS. Also, there were differences in the representation of BAME young people when compared to youth justice data across the five major cities.

Research limitations/implications

The lack of literature, combined with disparities in proportional representation of BAME young people within the Yorkshire and Humber FCAMHS, shows the need for a detailed study and analysis within national community FCAMHS.

Practical implications

More needs to be done within community FCAMHS to ensure that services are meeting the needs of young people at risk of criminalisation.


To the best of the author’s knowledge, there is currently no published literature that explores ethnic representation and access to community-based FCAMH services. Exploration within one regional service suggests that young people from BAME backgrounds may be under-represented within such services, whilst at the same time being over-represented within formal criminal justice.



The author would like to express thanks to the Yorkshire and Humber FCAMHS team, as well as Emma Welch and the Research and Development Team at SWYPFT for their input and support within the original service level research where this brief research report began. The author would also like to thank family and friends for their ongoing support and encouragement.Funding details: No funding was provided for the current study.Disclosure statement: No potential conflict of interest is reported by the authors.


Holt, B. (2022), "Barriers and gaps within services which affect Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic access to community Forensic CAMHS", Journal of Criminal Psychology, Vol. 12 No. 1/2, pp. 1-11.



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