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Young People with Complex Needs

Young people are not adults.  They face unique stresses, pressures and transitions that are reflected in their experience of substance misuse, offending and mental health problems.  Whilst much attention is given to child development, little is known about the key forces that shape adolescence. For example, 50 per cent of all mental health diagnosis is made on young people at the age of 14.  The course establishes the key issues in adolescent development as a backdrop to understanding specific issues affecting young people.  This includes what makes young people prone to problems, how young people experience problems differently to adults and how they cluster to create highly predictive pathways into difficulty.  Drawing on robust and compelling research throughout, this course will offer young people’s workers a deep understanding of adolescent complexity and offer practice interventions to help young people.


Who is the Course for?


This course is aimed at professional who work directly or supervise those who work with young people.  It will support youth orientated professionals to understand the critical drivers of adolescent development drawn from the latest development psychology research and begin to put practical and tailored interventions into practice.  As such it would be helpful for social workers, social care, foster agencies and families, those working with young offenders, mental health workers, substance misuse, family workers and housing teams.

Also Available to be Delivered Online?


Yes, Zoom based integration


Course Length

1 or 2 days (8.30-4.30)

Max Number of Attendees 



Resources Required

Flipchart stand & paper

Any seating arrangment

Method of Delivery


The training course is highly interactive, even during presentations. It uses a wide variety of learning approaches including presentations, pairs and small group work exercises and self-assessment.  The course is also supported with free e-learning and further resources to re-cap, review and refresh learning. 


 Course Aims & Objectives:


The course will equip practitioners to recognise and respond to young people with complex needs.


By the end of the course participants will have had opportunities to: 

  • Explore the four critical themes of adolescent development.

  • Identify specific sub-populations of adolescent difficulty and their predicted trajectories. 

  • Discuss how to screen and assess the unique facets of adolescent problems. 

  • Evaluate appropriate treatment responses depending upon the young person’s specific developmental needs

  • Provide a range of practical interventions to reduce young people’s difficulties.


"An amazing training session with equal balance between theoretical and practical.  Phil is an incredible trainer.  Made a lot of personal experiences make sense."

Young Person's Link Worker

"Amazing!  Can't wait to practice with young people."

Substance Misuse Youth Worker

"All I can say is thanks.  This training was brilliant."

Substance Misuse Youth Worker

"Linking the interventions to explanation of brain regions-theory into practical application.  Facilitator so knowledgeable and engaging, made the research and theory come alive with ease to understand examples that were directly applicable to the audience."

Substance Misuse Youth Worker

"The amount of resources, in depth information and studies to evidence was outstanding.  Brilliant training-my mind is blown!"

Substance Misuse Youth Worker

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