Section 5: Supervision
2 Hours

Lecture Topic TOPIC: SUPERVISION

Part III: Supervision Strategies

Use SlideUse Slide #20: Supervision Strategies

To complete this section of the training, we’re going to talk about some specific strategies that can be useful when supervising juvenile sex offenders, including:

Community Support Networks

As we’ve acknowledged several times during this training, collaborative partnerships between supervision officers and positive social supports such as parents and caregivers, school representatives, mentors, members of the faith community, and other volunteers are important. In addition, adolescents in general—and juvenile offenders more specifically—tend not to be the most trustworthy reporters of information at all times, so it’s important for supervision officers to identify others who are involved in their lives who can confirm or refute what these youth disclose to us.

Use SlideUse Slide #21: Community Support Networks

Members of community support networks can assume a host of key responsibilities related to promoting and supporting the success of juvenile sex offenders, including:29

Certainly then, when community supports have been identified, supervision officers must work to ensure that they are familiar with the principles and expectations of both offense–specific treatment and specialized supervision. After all, juvenile sex offender management is not likely to be a field with which they are very familiar.

In the State of Colorado, for example, members of community support networks are specially trained by supervision officers, social service representatives, and treatment providers to serve as “informed supervisors.”30 Every juvenile sex offender has at least one informed supervisor (and in most cases many more) who carries out the responsibilities that I just outlined and who participates regularly in multidisciplinary team meetings with the juvenile justice system actors and other professionals who help manage these youth in the community.31

Parents and Caregivers: Critical Collaborative Partners

Parents and caregivers are perhaps the most logical and influential examples of community support network members for juvenile sex offenders.32 Most youth are dependent on them and most parents or caregivers want to do the right thing for their kids. However, it isn’t always easy to get parents or caregivers on board, as there are a host of factors that may impact their willingness and ability to partner with us in the ways that many of us hope and expect. These include:33

Use SlideUse Slide #22: Challenges with Involving Parents

So given all these factors, it’s unrealistic not to expect some parental or caregiver denial and resistance to supervision and treatment. Although these reactions can be short–lived and fleeting, they can also be made worse by the development of adversarial, confrontational, and negative relationships with the system. Such patterns, once they are established, are difficult to break.

To facilitate the engagement and participation of parents or caregivers, it’s critical that officers interact with them in an empathic, respectful, supportive, and firm manner. And family members and caregivers should be approached as critical collaborators.34

In addition, it’s important to remember that juvenile supervision officers are often the “face” of the juvenile justice system. Of all system actors, they probably interact most frequently with youth and their parents or caregivers, so they are very well–positioned to have a significant influence on how positive and productive—or negative and difficult—their experiences are with the system, and how likely they are to be cooperative with and supportive of supervision and treatment.

How do you deal with parental and caregiver denial and resistance?

(ALLOW FOR AUDIENCE RESPONSES.)

Use SlideUse Slide #23: Tips for Engaging Parents

Here are a few quick pointers for you to keep in mind:

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