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Asset-Based Welfare and Youth Justice: Making It Local (From What Else Works? Creative Work With Offenders, P 155-168, 2010, Jo Brayford, Francis Cowe, and John Deering, eds. - See NCJ-230924)

NCJ Number
Mark Drakeford; Lee Gregory
Date Published
14 pages
This chapter argues for a new "localism" in the way juvenile justice practitioners act in managing juvenile offenders in the United Kingdom, largely due to the failures of national policymaking in England and Wales over the past 15 years.
The authors develop their discussion of this issue from the belief that the most effective measure for managing problem youth is to narrow the gap between them and the rest of the community by diverting them from the formal criminal justice system. This chapter's practical examples for managing problem youth stem from this conviction. One example is the Child Trust Fund (CTF), which pertains to poverty policy. The CTF is rooted in what is known as "asset-based welfare" theory. This theory argues that contemporary systems of social security have failed to maintain a link between the lives of those who depend on it and the rest of the population. The CTF attempts to turn asset-based welfare theory into practical public policy. It does this by providing that every child born in the United Kingdom since September 2002 has been provided with a sum of money in an account that will become available to the recipient when he/she becomes 18 years old. Every child receives 250 pounds, and children born into less well-off families each receive 500 pounds. This means that youth who come into contact with the criminal justice system will have Child Trust Funds that can become assets in managing their rehabilitation. A separate, but linked, form of asset building for youth is credit unions which have existed in the United Kingdom longer than the CTF. This chapter presents a case for youth workers guiding youth to the use of these credit unions and CTF for asset-building. 2 notes and 26 references