Interventions for Vulnerable Youth (IVY) Project


It is with regret that we announce that the Interventions for Vulnerable Youth (IVY) service, based at the Centre for Youth & Criminal Justice (CYCJ) will be closing on October 31, 2019. From this time, no new referrals will be accepted and the direct work with young people will end in October. Read more.

The IVY Project was introduced by CYCJ to promote best practice in forensic mental health risk assessment and management for young people who present a serious risk of harm to others.  IVY is based on awareness that a significant proportion of young people with severe conduct and offending behaviour problems do not have access to services capable of meeting their complex needs. It is a national service, which is funded by the Scottish Government and free for professionals to refer to.

This is a specialist psychological and social work service which reflects a multi-disciplinary tiered approach to risk assessment, formulation and management for high risk young people aged 12 to 18 years who present with complex psychological needs and high risk behaviour in terms of their violent conduct. Please be aware that a referral must be made before a young person’s 18th birthday.

The IVY Project supports referrals from social work, health, education, police or other professional organisations, and assessments and interventions with young people are consistent with GIRFEC.

Although based within CYCJ at Strathclyde University, IVY supports high risk young people and their families across Scotland. IVY aims to ensure these young people and the professionals working with them have access to the best advice, practice assessment and interventions addressing mental health, psychological and forensic risk and needs.


Following concerns and discussions about capacity, the IVY Project will no longer be able to offer specialist assessments (known as Level 2) and/or direct psychological support/intervention (known as Level 3).

Until further notice, the service can only offer Level 1 (a detailed risk formulation report based on an initial consultation).

Please note that the team will continue to support those they are already working with, and those for whom it has been identified and agreed that further levels of support are needed through a consultation. However, Level 2 and 3 support cannot be offered for young people for whom a consultation has not yet taken place.

The team will continue to recommend assessments or interventions are undertaken when appropriate, and will work closely with referrers to identify alternate sources of support where these exist.

The exception to this is young people who are being supported by Forth Valley CAMHS, due to direct funding from NHS Forth Valley to provide Level 2 and 3 IVY support.

We will continue to monitor this situation and look to reintroduce the Level 2 and 3 service if/when capacity allows. We are also looking into options and alternatives with our funders, the Scottish Government Youth Justice team.

Download a referral form.

Download a consent form.

View the IVY Workplan 2017/18

What referrers say

A well-presented analysis based on the exchange of information and discussion”

 “It’s excellent to be able to access this kind of support, and so quickly”

“I think that the service offered by the IVY team is invaluable”

“Exceptionally positive experience. Would welcome the opportunity to work with IVY again”

“Found it a valuable tool in putting things in perspective and allowing us the time to develop our understanding of the young person”

To make a referral, please complete the below referral and consent forms in respect of the young person you are referring. To speak to someone within the IVY team, please contact CYCJ  on 0141 444 8622 or via


In addition to the free national service offered by IVY, the IVY Project is also interested in developing partnerships with local authorities, health boards and voluntary sector agencies, with a view to offering specialist support that is tailored to meet the specific needs of different services for young people.

In April 2016, NHS Forth Valley commissioned IVY to provide consultation, training and partnership working in support of their Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. Any agencies interested in discussing options for partnership working with the IVY Project, please contact the team on 0141 444 8671 or email

Meet the IVY team

Dr Lorraine Johnstone

Consultant Clinical and Forensic Psychologist, Senior Research Fellow and Project Lead

Kate Black

Principal Clinical Psychologist

Fiona Dyer

CYCJ Interim Director

Susan Gordon

Administrative Assistant (IVY Project)

Contact the IVY team on

Contact Us

Centre for Youth & Criminal Justice
University of Strathclyde
Lord Hope Building, Level 6
141 St. James Road Glasgow G4 0LT

(0141) 444 8622

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