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Family-Centered Care in Juvenile Justice Institutions: A Mixed Methods Study Protocol

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ABSTRACT

Background: Treatment and rehabilitation interventions in juvenile justice institutions aim to prevent criminal reoffending by adolescents and to enhance their prospects of successful social reintegration. There is evidence that these goals are best achieved when the institution adopts a family-centered approach, involving the parents of the adolescents. The Academic Workplace Forensic Care for Youth has developed two programs for family-centered care for youth detained in groups for short-term and long-term stay, respectively.

Objective: The overall aim of our study is to evaluate the family-centered care program in the first two years after the first steps of its implementation in short-term stay groups of two juvenile justice institutions in the Netherlands. The current paper discusses our study design.

Methods: Based on a quantitative pilot study, we opted for a study with an explanatory sequential mixed methods design. This pilot is considered the first stage of our study. The second stage of our study includes concurrent quantitative and qualitative approaches. The quantitative part of our study is a pre-post quasi-experimental comparison of family-centered care with usual care in short-term stay groups. The qualitative part of our study involves in-depth interviews with adolescents, parents, and group workers to elaborate on the preceding quantitative pilot study and to help interpret the outcomes of the quasi-experimental quantitative part of the study.

Results: We believe that our study will result in the following findings. In the quantitative comparison of usual care with family-centered care, we assume that in the latter group, parents will be more involved with their child and with the institution, and that parents and adolescents will be more motivated to take part in therapy. In addition, we expect family-centered care to improve family interactions, to decrease parenting stress, and to reduce problem behavior among the adolescents. Finally, we assume that adolescents, parents, and the staff of the institutions will be more satisfied with family-centered care than with usual care. In the qualitative part of our study, we will identify the needs and expectations in family-centered care as well as factors influencing parental participation. Insight in these factors will help to further improve our program of family-centered care and its implementation in practice. Our study results will be published over the coming years.

Conclusions: A juvenile justice institution is a difficult setting to evaluate care programs. A combination of practice-based research methods is needed to address all major implementation issues. The study described here takes on the challenge by means of practice-based research. We expect the results of our study to contribute to the improvement of care for adolescents detained in juvenile justice institutions, and for their families.

No MeSH data available.


Overview of the quantitative measures for adolescents and parents; (FES) Family Environment Scale, (ATMQ) Adolescent Treatment Motivation Questionnaire, (JJI) Juvenile Justice Institution, (PSQ) Parenting Stress Questionnaire.
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figure2: Overview of the quantitative measures for adolescents and parents; (FES) Family Environment Scale, (ATMQ) Adolescent Treatment Motivation Questionnaire, (JJI) Juvenile Justice Institution, (PSQ) Parenting Stress Questionnaire.

Mentions: The baseline assessment for adolescents and parents will take place in the third week of detention. The second (exit) assessment will be held in the week of the adolescent’s departure from the short-term stay group. Although our assessments will be embedded in ROM and in the standard screening and diagnostic procedures of JJIs, we will assist in scheduling assessments and we will help to interpret the scores of family-oriented questionnaires so that they are usable in clinical practice. The assessments will be carried out by trained research assistants or by trained students enrolled in one of the social sciences Master’s program, under supervision of the first author. Figure 2 presents an overview of the measures used for adolescents and parents.


Family-Centered Care in Juvenile Justice Institutions: A Mixed Methods Study Protocol
Overview of the quantitative measures for adolescents and parents; (FES) Family Environment Scale, (ATMQ) Adolescent Treatment Motivation Questionnaire, (JJI) Juvenile Justice Institution, (PSQ) Parenting Stress Questionnaire.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5037315&req=5

figure2: Overview of the quantitative measures for adolescents and parents; (FES) Family Environment Scale, (ATMQ) Adolescent Treatment Motivation Questionnaire, (JJI) Juvenile Justice Institution, (PSQ) Parenting Stress Questionnaire.
Mentions: The baseline assessment for adolescents and parents will take place in the third week of detention. The second (exit) assessment will be held in the week of the adolescent’s departure from the short-term stay group. Although our assessments will be embedded in ROM and in the standard screening and diagnostic procedures of JJIs, we will assist in scheduling assessments and we will help to interpret the scores of family-oriented questionnaires so that they are usable in clinical practice. The assessments will be carried out by trained research assistants or by trained students enrolled in one of the social sciences Master’s program, under supervision of the first author. Figure 2 presents an overview of the measures used for adolescents and parents.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Background: Treatment and rehabilitation interventions in juvenile justice institutions aim to prevent criminal reoffending by adolescents and to enhance their prospects of successful social reintegration. There is evidence that these goals are best achieved when the institution adopts a family-centered approach, involving the parents of the adolescents. The Academic Workplace Forensic Care for Youth has developed two programs for family-centered care for youth detained in groups for short-term and long-term stay, respectively.

Objective: The overall aim of our study is to evaluate the family-centered care program in the first two years after the first steps of its implementation in short-term stay groups of two juvenile justice institutions in the Netherlands. The current paper discusses our study design.

Methods: Based on a quantitative pilot study, we opted for a study with an explanatory sequential mixed methods design. This pilot is considered the first stage of our study. The second stage of our study includes concurrent quantitative and qualitative approaches. The quantitative part of our study is a pre-post quasi-experimental comparison of family-centered care with usual care in short-term stay groups. The qualitative part of our study involves in-depth interviews with adolescents, parents, and group workers to elaborate on the preceding quantitative pilot study and to help interpret the outcomes of the quasi-experimental quantitative part of the study.

Results: We believe that our study will result in the following findings. In the quantitative comparison of usual care with family-centered care, we assume that in the latter group, parents will be more involved with their child and with the institution, and that parents and adolescents will be more motivated to take part in therapy. In addition, we expect family-centered care to improve family interactions, to decrease parenting stress, and to reduce problem behavior among the adolescents. Finally, we assume that adolescents, parents, and the staff of the institutions will be more satisfied with family-centered care than with usual care. In the qualitative part of our study, we will identify the needs and expectations in family-centered care as well as factors influencing parental participation. Insight in these factors will help to further improve our program of family-centered care and its implementation in practice. Our study results will be published over the coming years.

Conclusions: A juvenile justice institution is a difficult setting to evaluate care programs. A combination of practice-based research methods is needed to address all major implementation issues. The study described here takes on the challenge by means of practice-based research. We expect the results of our study to contribute to the improvement of care for adolescents detained in juvenile justice institutions, and for their families.

No MeSH data available.