Treatment Approaches

YDC/YFC programs provide an array of treatment services for residents that are individualized, culturally sensitive, and developmentally appropriate.  Consistent with the MCPS process, services are delivered via individual counseling, family counseling, group counseling, and skill-building services for each resident.

Services are also aligned with the principles of effective interventions as outlined in Pennsylvania’s Juvenile Justice System Enhancement Strategy (JJSES):

  1. Assess risk/need using actuarial instruments

    Use assessments to guide case decisions by applying actuarial and statistically valid tools that describe the “who” (which juveniles will most likely require interventions), the “what” (which specific needs must be addressed to reduce re-offense), and the “how” (how to match interventions with individual’s traits) of supervision.

  2. Enhance intrinsic motivation

    Get juveniles treatment-ready and keep them engaged by using motivational interviewing, strength-based approaches and rewards and sanctions.

  3. Target interventions

    Apply a laser-like focus on the criminogenic factors that are proven to be linked to future delinquency and work to enhance those protective factors that act like barriers against delinquent behavior.  Pay attention to youths’ responsivity factors, including developmental age, gender, ethnic and cultural background, and learning style.

  4. Develop skills through direct practice

    Use behavioral and cognitive behavioral techniques to help medium and high-risk juveniles learn thinking patterns, skills, and behaviors that can reduce their risk of recidivism.  Reinforce in the community and family, new skills that youth have learned in treatment and competency development groups.

  5. Increase positive reinforcement

    Use rewards and incentives to encourage prosocial attitudes and behavior.  Seek to provide four to six positive affirmations for every message of disapproval.

  6. Encourage ongoing support in natural communities

    Strengthen the influence of prosocial communities in juveniles’ lives and support the ability of the family to assist the youth as they learn prosocial values, attitudes, beliefs and skills.

  7. Measure relevant processes and practices

    Ensure that facilities are routinely measuring and documenting key indicators that inform employees whether programs and services are being implemented with sufficient quality and whether indicated changes are occurring.

  8. Provide measurement feedback

    Use data to provide feedback and make adjustments.  Outcomes will more likely be improved when feedback is offered to those individuals providing services, developing policy and managing staff.