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Involving Families in Case Planning

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2015
9 pages
This report identifies and discusses the challenges and the benefits of involving the families of offenders in their case planning and supervision process.
One benefit of involving family members in case planning is their knowledge of the offender's background, past behaviors, strengths, weaknesses, and interests. A second benefit of involving an offender's family members in case planning is that they become familiar with the requirements of probation and parole as well as the nature and objectives of the services, supervision, and restrictive conditions, as well as the important role the family plays in achieving probation objectives. A third benefit is facilitation of discussions of services the family may need in order to provide the support and guidance the offender needs. Three challenges are noted in involving families in case planning. One challenge is for the probation/parole officer to be available to guide the family when questions arise about their role and how they should handle various situations with the offender. Another challenge is how to deal with situations in which the family becomes protective of the offender, even to the point of covering for probation/parole violations. A third challenge is relating to families from cultural backgrounds and traditions that are different from the supervising officer. This can increase communication difficulties and cause disagreements about behavioral norms. Guidance is provided on involving families in each step of the case planning process, identifying social supports, involving families in assessment and intake, focusing on the strengths of family relationships, and developing the case plan in consultation with family members.

Date Published: February 1, 2015