Girl Code Project: Initial Findings from Engagement with Girls with Lived Experience of Youth Justice Service and Under 25- Service in East Sussex – Trauma Informed Pathfinder (August 2022)


The Trauma-informed Pathfinder have shared their initial findings with girls with lived experience in creating a Girl Code project.


The Girl Code project seeks to engage with girls with lived experience to understand their experiences of youth justice and under-25 substance misuse services and how they feel that those services could improve or develop their responses to girls.
It is widely recognised that to work effectively with girls requires a gender-sensitive approach, which recognises the distinct needs of girls and offers appropriately tailored interventions.
Whilst it is recognised that there is good practice across the East Sussex youth justice service and U25- substance misuse service of practitioners working with girls to deliver individualised, strengths-based assessments and interventions, it is also recognise the need to develop a coherent strategy to inform this work as well as explore opportunities for developing more effective interventions. To this end, the trauma informed pathfinder has shared their initial findings from engagement with girls with lived experience of youth justice service and under 25- service in East Sussex.
The girls interviewed shared their top tips and core recommendations for professionals who are working with girls.

Following the feedback and initial findings East Sussex will work towards the following:

  • To identify ‘girls champions’ within youth justice service and under-25 services staff teams to promote the development and delivery of gender-sensitive approaches to work with girls.
  • Focus group to be set up, to include girls with lived experience as well as practitioners, to take forward suggestions from this research.
  • ESCC Participation Team to support focus group in developing ‘girl code’ materials to inform practice across under 25 services and youth justice service.
  • Girls strategy to be developed for under 25 services and youth justice service.


Youth Justice Service:East Sussex Youth Justice Service
Name:Nicola Maxwell