Objective: To determine the relationship between the need for care and the use of care in the youth care system at neighbourhood level and the relationship with population characteristics, with consideration of the decentralisation of youth care. Design: Descriptive, retrospective study. Method: Data on youth care use, indicators of need for care and population characteristics were gathered from monitors and the records of the municipality, institutions and health insurance companies. Data were grouped on a neighbourhood level (n = 49). For the analyses we used univariate and multivariate regression. We used these to distinguish between neighbourhoods with large and small gaps between youth care use and need for youth care. Differences between these neighbourhoods were analysed with t-tests. Results: A multivariate model showed that the percentage of youths with emotional problems and behavioural problems and the percentage of parents with self-reported need for care were not predictors of youth care use at a neighbourhood level. About two thirds of the variance in youth care use between neighbourhoods could be explained by the population characteristics of a neighbourhood, particularly the percentage of youths originally fromnon-western countries, the percentage of youths with a low level of education or special training and the percentage of people who received income support. The number of 12-18-year-olds in a neighbourhood was a predictor of youth mental health care, and the percentage of youths in a single-parent family was a predictor of out-patient youth and parenting support. Neighbourhoods with a large gap between the need for and use of youth care were socially more disadvantaged than neighbourhoods with a smaller gap. Conclusion: Population characteristics explain the rate of use of youth care better than the need for youth care in a neighbourhood as measured by municipal monitors. The possible gap between the use of and need for youth care on an individual level in neighbourhoods with many characteristics of disadvantage is an important focus point for future neighbourhood teams. Conflict of interest: none declared. Financial support: none declared.

Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Jansen, W., Mieloo, C., Anschutz, J., & De Zwart, O. (2015). Gap between the use of and need for youth care: Research in Rotterdam neighbourhoods. Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde, 159(7). Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/89487