The justice system experience for most youth doesn’t foster their growth. There’s lots of evidence indicating that the justice system experience increases offending.
Yet, growth is the key to desisting from offending because it involves forming an identity that is incompatible with offending.
Growth Focused Case Management provides Youth Justice Workers with a framework for using the case planning process and their interaction with youth to foster their growth and positive identity.
This case management framework provides youth with four powerful experiences that support and accelerate their growth. They are based on neuroscience regarding cognitive processes that translate what happens to and around us into our subjective or inner experiences of our world and, therefore, determines our behavior. The experiences are presented below with the cognitive processes shown in bold print. Included with each experience is a related developmental task that youth must undertake in order to form a positive identity, which is the primary goal of youth development. Identity formation is also directly related to desisting from offending.[13,14]
In GFCM, the Probation Officer facilitates the above four experiences with the bonus being that facilitation is done in a manner that involves youth in building their case plans.
How can youth justice workers practice Growth Mindset?
Be fully conscious about your intention to connect, envision, advocate, and coordinate.
Integrating Erik Erikson's Model of Psychosocial Assessment, identifying developmental crises and tasks to foster long term developmental outcomes.
Since desistance is about discovering agency, interventions need to encourage and respect self-determination; this means working with offenders not on them.
(McCullogh 2005; McNeil, 2006).
Executive functioning which includes weighing long-term consequences & controlling impulses is among the last to fully mature.
(Thomas McKay/ The Denver Post)
More than Maslow's Basic Needs are necessary for young people. Psychological and self-fulfillment needs also play a role.
Change is a cyclical experience, we expect youth to make mistakes. Each stage needs to happen for the next to occur.