Canada has a long history of using the criminal justice system to address social problems of youth in society. Yet, according to clinical psychologist Mary Vandergoot, this approach has ignored that many so-called juvenile delinquents may have developmental disabilities, mental health disorders, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, or have been victims of violence or neglect. Set against the backdrop of the Canadian Youth Criminal Justice Act, this is an interdisciplinary approach with clinical examples and sample evaluations, examining options for dealing with troubled youth, social and emotional issues, and the role of the various actors in youth justice, including the psychologist.
Dr. Mary Vandergoot is a senior psychologist with the Youth Resource Centre, Child and Youth Program, in Saskatoon, SK, and a Professional Affiliate with the Department of Psychology, University of Saskatchewan. She has studied and worked in the areas of educational and developmental psychology, child and family mental health, and assessment and treatment of young offenders. She is the mother of five adult children.