careleaverConduct disorders and associated antisocial behaviour are the most common mental health and behavioural problems in children and young people. They affect 5% of children and young people aged between five and 16. However, the figure is almost 40% for looked after children, those who have been abused or are on the child protection or safeguarding register.

Such anti-social behaviour has a huge impact on quality of life and how the affected person functions in day-to-day life, so it is vital that they can be assessed and pointed towards specialist services so they can get help and support.

Health and social care professionals who work with children and young people who may have a conduct disorder are in a position to build postive, trusting and caring relationships, and can negotiate with parents and carers regarding issues relating to information sharing and confidentiality.

To help them through the maze of making the right decisions in treating and referring young people with a suspected behavioural problem, NICE Pathways has published a comprehensive guidance,‘Antisocial behaviour and conduct disorders in children and young people overview’.

The pathway offers a range of interventions for conduct disorders in children and young people aged under 18, including treatment, referrals and selective prevention. Each clearly signposted pathway offers essential guidance and information to what to do when a child or young person is suspected or diagnosed with a conduct disorder, as well as how to assess somebody, plus treatment and care options.

To download the pathway, visit