The Inter-agency Plan for Conduct Disorder/Severe Antisocial Behaviour 2007 – 2012 sets out a six-year approach to improve government’s response to the management and treatment of children and young people with conduct disorder/severe antisocial behaviour so that affected children and families can look forward to a brighter future.
All children and young people need support and guidance from their families, their teachers and other key figures in their lives to develop into socially and emotionally competent adults.
Government provides or funds a range of universal services to support ‘pro-social’ development, including ante-natal and infant healthcare services, childcare and early childhood education, and primary and secondary schooling. A small percentage of children and young people have behavioural difficulties that require more intensive and specialist support than can be provided by parents or teachers alone. This Plan will improve the specialist support to those children and young people.
The Plan has been jointly developed by the Ministries of Social Development, Health and Education with support from the Ministry of Justice. It includes a framework for expanding and re-designing some existing specialist behavioural services, as well as measures to support better co-ordinated services and evidence-based decision-making in the longer term.
Conduct problems are the single most important predictor of later chronic antisocial behaviour problems including academic underachievement, early school leaving, teenage parenthood, delinquency, unemployment and substance abuse. The pathway for many affected young people typically leads on to youth offending, family violence and, ultimately, through to serious adult crime. The Inter-agency Plan aims to counter this trend.