Problems from juvenile crime have been serious issues for many local communities. The most actual means of preventing juvenile delinquency involves helping children and their intra and extra-family. Several public programs have been developed to act as community initiatives that allow independent groups to handle juvenile delinquency problems. The juvenile delinquency programs have common characteristics, including education to provide families and children with knowledge and education. The educational concept of juvenile delinquency programs intends to encourage and open up opportunities for young people. The Functional Family Therapy Program among the programs that assist adolescents and youths on probation by the juvenile systems. Informing the parents and their children creates awareness of actions and their consequences (Alexander, Waldron, Robbins and Neeb, 2013). This paper will focus on the Functional Family Therapy program and its effectiveness in changing behaviors and responses to situations among juvenile delinquents.
The Functional Family Therapy Program is a family-based intervention and prevention program utilized in various situations to treat array of high-risk youths and their families. This has been one of the most effective interventions in the current generation to treat adolescent behaviors. The program relies on clinical practice and culturally sensitive approaches that have allowed successful interventions for multidimensional and complex problems accountable to the community, youths, and families (Alexander and Robbins, 2011). The program has a multi-systematic perspective in its intervention efforts and empirically tested principles that help treat delinquent and at-risk youths.
The Functional Family Therapy program has been considered an effective evidence-based intervention common in Western populations. It’s used by western cultures such as the United States to mitigate youth criminal actions and behaviors. The program focuses on youths at risk between the ages of 11-18 and has been used in various multicultural and multiethnic contexts to treat the range of families and youths. The targeted youths within the western cultures include youths at risk of delinquency, substance, and violence, or other behavioral issues such as oppositional defiant disorder and behavior disorder.
Various studies have been completed to indicate the effectiveness of the Functional Family Therapy program. The studies have indicated evidence-based family interventions have been used to mitigate criminal behaviors among youths. There has been a growing recognition of the Functional Family Therapy program in various longitudinal studies as an effective intervention behavior. Studies have provided certain insight into interactive effects and interventions that control recidivism rates (Hartnett, Carr, Hamilton, and O’Reilly, 2017). The various findings have suggested the value of the Family therapy program to control the condition as a treatment model. A series of assessment studies have shown that the Functional Family Therapy program effectively lowers criminal activity among youths thus solving juvenile delinquency.
The Functional Family Therapy program has positive impacts as it intervenes and changes negative behaviors among the delinquents. The program is an intervention program that focuses on multiple domains and systems within the delinquents. Ideally, Functional Family Therapy aims to lower delinquent behavior among youths at the age of 11-18 and high-risk children to improve the family’s quality. Functional Family Therapy reduces destructive behavior patterns, negativity and develops positive behavior changes and positive adaptation solutions to family issues (Sexton and Turner, 2010). The program focuses on the dysfunctional pattern of interactions within the family that influences the youths’ behaviors. For instance, the therapists using the program focus on reducing delinquent behavior, training family members on negotiating effectively, modifying dysfunctional family and setting clear rules about responsibilities and privileges. The program has generally changed the community relationships and contexts.
The program will help in curbing delinquency since it builds positive therapeutic cooperation and boosting change among delinquents. The program aids at replacement of delinquent behaviors and focuses on maintaining positive behavior changes among the high-risk youths (Celinska, Furrer, and Cheng, 2013). It addresses delinquent youth actions within the context of school, family, and community.
Functional Family Therapy is a short-range, behaviorally, and manually based approach whose effect can disappear in the long term. Being in a family therapy program can negatively affect, especially if the family is not willing to follow the therapy. The program should focus on collaborative relationships, and family function since behavior change is highly related to families’ relational functions Celinska, Furrer and Cheng, 2013). It’s also important for the program to focus on a distinct problem and a relational viewpoint of the family to the extra family and interfamily contexts. The program should have a long-term approach that will motivate change and reduce destructive behavior.
The reason for supporting the program is that it’s geared towards helping the youths between the ages of 11-18. The program is successfully tested in multicultural and multiethnic contexts to treat the youths at risk of engaging in delinquent behaviors such as substance abuse and violence (Sexton and Turner, 2010). The Functional Family Function concentrates on lowering risk factors among youths that have been identified with oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, and disruptive behavior disorder.
In summation, evidence-based interventions such as the Functional Family Therapy program have changed behavior among high-risk youths. The program is a short-term approach designed to motivate and engage families and youths to change the negative impacts. Family members are encouraged to focus on new relational skills to reduce juvenile delinquency and recidivism rates. The program has changed the behaviors and responses of youths to certain situations at a lower cost. Youths are less likely to commit crimes due to the help they receive from their families. Therefore, the government should focus on utilizing the Functional Family Therapy program to reduce juvenile delinquency.
Alexander, J. F., & Robbins, M. S. (2011). Functional family therapy. Clinical handbook of assessing and treating conduct problems in youth, 245-271.
Alexander, J. F., Waldron, H. B., Robbins, M. S., & Neeb, A. A. (2013). Functional family therapy for adolescent behavior problems. American Psychological Association.
Celinska, K., Furrer, S., & Cheng, C. C. (2013). An outcome-based evaluation of functional family therapy for youth with behavioral problems. Journal of Juvenile Justice, 2(2), 23.
Hartnett, D., Carr, A., Hamilton, E., & O’Reilly, G. (2017). The effectiveness of functional family therapy for adolescent behavioral and substance misuse problems: A meta‐analysis. Family Process, 56(3), 607-619.
Sexton, T., & Turner, C. W. (2010). The effectiveness of functional family therapy for youth with behavioral problems in a community practice setting. Journal of Family Psychology, 24(3), 339.