Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Dr. Janet Chang


The purpose of this study is to identify the barriers to and facilitators of mental health services utilization among youth in the justice setting, and to explore ways to overcome these barriers and expand these facilitators. This qualitative study utilized focus groups as a means to extract themes among the perceptions of social workers on this topic. Results were transcribed to written form. Qualitative analysis procedures were followed to identify and label themes. A total of 473 statements are organized into 26 major themes with 18 sub‑themes. Suggestions for change under the agency/organizational category of domain three received the most overall discussion with 108 statements in all. The most discussed topics in the focus groups are quality of or improvements to services, which receives a total of 114 statements total, and punitive systems of care, which receives a total of 60 statements in all. Major suggestions for change made by participants include education and outreach for the public on mental health for juveniles, training on interventions and cultural competence for providers, and a shift from punitive to restorative for systems that justice youth interact with, to include schools, courts, probation, and law enforcement.

Included in

Social Work Commons