Document: Punishing Abuse report summary

Punishing Abuse is a report that provides the results of an action research project designed to discover the extent of abuse and other adversity for a diverse range of children known to Youth Offending Teams in the West Midlands.

Whilst the original purpose of the research was to inform regional reform of the youth justice system, the analysis has identified the systemic failure to meet the needs of these children. This has led to proposals for much wider reform of public services.

The overwhelming evidence of poverty, abuse, loss adversity and probable trauma for the children studied is considered alongside the academic evidence on the likely impact on children’s lives and behaviours. This analysis led to the report being titled Punishing Abuse. The findings have profound implications for policy and practice in work with troubled children, not just locally but also nationally.

The research was undertaken on behalf of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) in collaboration with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC). A range of public bodies and eleven local authorities collaborated in the research.

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