The Road to Reintegration: Practitioner Understandings and Experiences

Anna K. King, University at Albany
William Scott Cunningham, University at Albany
David E. Duffee, University at Albany
Lorraine Hogan, University at Albany

Over the last two decades, individual-centered models of juvenile treatment have given way to reintegration-oriented models, shifting the focus from the adolescent to the larager context of the adolescent's family and community. Despite this shift in orientation, many of the methods for achieving these goals remain the same (e.g., education or therapy targets at the adolescent.) Little is known about the processes involved in promoting positive family and community outcomes with young people in trouble. This paper describes the findings of an on-going research project designed to measure the processes and their connection to adolescent outcomes in two large-scale agencies serving the needs of delinquent youth and families in Upstate New York. This preliminary analysis includes the results of an open-ended survey and a series of focus groups and interviews involving 55 staff and administrative personnel at the two agencies, and detailing their beliefs about the most effective processes for achieving successful reintegration and family reunification. Comparative differences between line staff and administration are outlined, as are the discrepancies in the theoretical models of clinicians versus childcare personnel and community workers. Finally, the various staff models are compared to the research literature on "what works" in delinquency treatrment.

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Updated 05/20/2006