The number of juveniles in residential facilities has increased over the years. Many teens are being treated for disorders such as depression, anxiety-disorders, attention-deficit disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and other emotional disorders. Many children with problems that occur from home or school are taken in for an evaluation to help better diagnose what is going on. The assessments that are done give professionals a better understanding of how to better treat a child for the disorders. Through these tests, strengths and weaknesses are pointed out to determine which treatment is best for the juvenile.
The first treatment option available to youth is multisystemic therapy. This treatment available is a family and community based approach that concentrates on the influences that are affected by our youth. The interventions also focus on the relationships between the young adults and significant people in their life to change the way behaviors are shared amongst them. These interventions also must keep in mind the strengths and weaknesses, appearance, attitudes, beliefs and disabilities when assessing the youth. These interventions produce great changes with the interactions of other adults in their life.
The second kind of treatment available is cognitive-behavioral therapy. This kind of therapy involves therapeutic interventions that alter the behaviors and thoughts related to the poor behavior. There are two parts to this kind of treatment. The first one is to change the behavior by modification with using positive reinforcement on the youth. The second one is that when behavior processes are targeted, it would lead to a different way of thinking. This is done through skills training, problem-solving techniques, role modeling, cognitive behavior and rational emotional therapies are forms of cognitive-behavior treatments. This kind of treatment helps the family to understand the youth’s behaviors and problems.
The third type of treatment is victim-offender mediation. This type of intervention brings the victims and offenders together to talk about the impact of the crime and to come up with the suitable amounts of restitution as well as allowing the victims to be advocates in the system. During this kind of treatment, the offenders are asked to have individual sessions with a mediator that will help with the process of having both parties work together to come up with any concerns that either party may have. This is a similar process to adjudication, which involves the direct involvement with the victims and offenders. This also reduces the cost of court fees and time that would otherwise be spent on the process.
Wraparound programming is the fourth type of treatment available to juveniles. This type of intervention is similar to the multisystemic therapies in that it focuses on the behavior of the individual. The wraparound model uses the strengths that are already present in the youth and uses resources in the youth’s environment to bring changes that are positive. The therapists prefer that the families do not change their beliefs or values and to come together with the help of the community to support the youth. Four things can come from using this model, they are the youth’s behavior is resultant of meanings and potential of the youth, it reduces recidivism, the youth’s perceptions of self is inhabitant and must consider all interactions with many systems. This system strengthens the family instead of blaming the family and also gets them more involved.
The last type of treatment is multidimensional treatment foster care. This is another effective model that juveniles can receive. This involves families, mostly parents that are skilled and supported to have a socializing and positive influence on the youth. This kind of treatment has been researched and tested for more than forty years. This type of therapy helps to look at the behaviors before they start and it maintains close supervision to youth that have serious problems. The youth are watched very closely and the problems and the progress of the youth is monitored when the parents are trained for support to the youth. When the youth are supervised by the parents, the parents are often in contact with the case managers to ensure the treatment plan works accordingly.
Of these five treatments, I feel like the wraparound program would be the most effective. I like that this treatment model uses individual, family and community on the influences of behavior. It is important to recognize family strengths and the community volunteers to help in the treatment program. I think that it is important to focus on the influences of behavior that should be targeted. Having support from the community as well as the family allows the youth to receive help from all members within the community.
1. Roberts, A., 2008, Correctional Counseling and Treatment, Pearson Education, Prentice Hall.