Service Delivery Beyond Borders - Working With Children And Youth In Conflict With The Law


  • Desiree de Kock Department of Social Work, UNISA, South Africa


child and youth care, awaiting trial youth, professional services


At the end of August 2005 there were 1160 unsentenced young persons under the age of 18 in the care of the South African National Department Correctional Services and at the end of March 2006 1203 unsentenced young persons. In Gauteng, the smallest province in South Africa, 1.3% of the children and youth population are in conflict with the law. Research done in 2003/4 has shown that poverty is the main reason for children and youth coming into conflict with the law, followed by peer pressure and gangsterism. This phenomenon is of great concern for social workers, child and youth care workers, teachers, psychologists, prosecutors, judges, and politicians. The Gauteng Provincial Department of Social Development aims at reducing the number of children and youths awaiting trial in Gauteng in 2014 by 50%. This objective poses a challenge to a number of professionals to reach beyond their professional borders to work together to ensure a better future for our children and youths. Al­though this is a service delivery strategy for the Gauteng Provincial Department of Social Development, services to address this matter need to be rendered beyond the Gauteng border because children and youths enter Gauteng from other provinces searching for a better future and get trapped in a snowballing of poverty and crime in their struggle for survival. Based on recent research done in South Africa, this article focuses on the ways different professionals address the phenomenon of children and youths in conflict with the law, by considering the needs of these children and youths and by changing their environment through education and prevention services.




How to Cite

de Kock, D. . (2009). Service Delivery Beyond Borders - Working With Children And Youth In Conflict With The Law. Journal of Child and Youth Care Work, 22, 37–56. Retrieved from