Collaborative Family Work in Youth Justice

Chris Trotter, Phillipa Evans, Susan Baidawi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


A number of studies have found that working with family groups can be successful in improving outcomes for young people and their families. This article reports on a study in New South Wales in which juvenile justice staff offered collaborative family work interventions to young people as part of the routine offerings of a juvenile justice service. The primary objective of this study was to examine the extent to which young people who completed the family work had lower recidivism rates compared to three control groups. The methods included a comparison of recidivism rates between young people who completed the intervention, those who failed to complete, those who declined, and a matched sample of young people who were not offered the intervention. The results of the study indicated that many young people and their families were agreeable to be involved in the intervention and the completion rates were high, particularly if the work was undertaken in the family home. The young people who completed the intervention also had lower recidivism rates than young people in each of the control groups. IMPLICATIONS Collaborative family work can be offered successfully by juvenile justice services to young offenders and their families. Collaborative family work can reduce recidivism rates for those who complete the intervention. It is preferable to conduct the work in the family home where completion rates are likely to be higher.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-279
Number of pages13
JournalAustralian Social Work
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2020


  • Effectiveness
  • Family
  • Justice Probation
  • Youth
  • Youth justice

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