City Research Online

Social welfare advice and health among young people: a scoping review

Woodhead, C., Gunasinghe, C. ORCID: 0000-0001-9498-2022, Kenrick, J. & Genn, D. H. (2022). Social welfare advice and health among young people: a scoping review. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 44(1), pp. 103-123. doi: 10.1080/09649069.2022.2028409


Social determinants of mental and physical health that influence young peoples’ trajectories into adulthood are often remediable through law. To address inequalities, including those exacerbated since the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a need to better understand young people’s need for and uptake of advice for social welfare legal problems. This scoping review aimed to review available evidence and identify gaps to inform further research. To identify studies relevant to social welfare legal advice among young adults we conducted searches of eight bibliographic databases (compiled between January 1998 and June 2020), hand searches of included article reference lists and targeted grey literature searches. 35 peer reviewed and grey literature studies were selected based on inclusion and exclusion criteria including evaluations of interventions to promote access to advice, general population surveys, observational studies, and audits of charity data or targeted surveys. Evidence suggests considerable and inequitable need for social welfare legal advice among young adults with adverse consequences for health and wellbeing. Needs among higher risk groups are likely underestimated. Evidence for interventions to enhance access/uptake of advice is limited and methodologically weak. We identify several gaps in the literature to inform research and to enable systematic reviews around more specific questions to inform practice.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law on 31 January 2022 , available at:
Publisher Keywords: Young people, young adult, social welfare, social determinants, legal advice, health inequalities, scoping review
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
SWORD Depositor:
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