A holistic approach means recognising all needs and the ways in which these needs are related. The needs of women in the criminal justice system are complex and often cannot be spoken about or addressed in isolation of each other.

When addressing multiple needs, it is often required that several different organisations and interventions are needed to address the various needs effectively. Mentoring for women is best placed amongst a larger service or alongside others.

As well as being a service amongst others, mentoring can also have a holistic approach. When aware of all needs, a woman can fully participate in her personal needs, and the mentor and organisation are given the evidence that will substantiate need-responsive services.

For example, if a woman presents with multiple needs such as debt, accommodation, mental health and domestic abuse, it is important to remember how these needs impact on each other. With the complexity of their needs, women need to be advised of all availability of support so they are able to make informed decisions.

Best Practice Guide

  • Ask a woman if there are issues that are making it hard for her to address a need, for example is there an issue that is making it hard for her to address her alcohol misuse?
  • Use an image or build a holistic plan so a woman is able to see her needs and how they are connected
  • Ensure the mentor is confident in signposting to other agencies for other needs
  • Mentoring for women is best placed within or alongside other services