Working with Families in the Juvenile Justice System

Probation officers have a unique role when working with families involved in the juvenile justice system. This one-day class is designed to provide probation officers with greater knowledge and understanding of the various dynamics of the family systems. It addresses the functions, needs and internal processes surrounding rules, boundaries, hierarchy and subsystems. This class will assist the probation officer in developing strategies to engage the youth and his/her family, “where they are at.” 

Participants will:

  • Define stages of change 
  • Practice basic principles relating to strength-based approaches including: reframing negative behaviors, finding new options and alternatives for family behavioral patterns that are problematic to youth and alliance with a youth’s strengths
  • Improve engagement strategies for youth and families
  • Identify common target behaviors, rolling with resistance, gaging readiness, strengthening importance and confidence, eliciting change talk and recognizing risk and warning signs
  • Describe principles of motivational interviewing and apply them to families in the case plan development
  • Identify principles inherent in youth maturational crisis, situational crisis, developmental fixation or regression, the risks and protective factors

This course will provide a framework for understanding the issues around youth, their families and how to elicit positive interaction while involved in the juvenile justice system and beyond.  

Course Code