What is the Role of Social Worker in Juvenile Justice?

Role of Social Worker in Juvenile Justice:

The juvenile, is a person of age 17 or below who had come in conflict with the law. The social worker or social welfare officer or probation officer (SW, SWO, PO respectively) will be dealing with the Police and the family/ home of the juvenile at the same time. We may contact the family to educate them to cooperate with the Police. We also educate them on their rights and that of the juvenile, including getting a legal representation. Social workers take the juvenile and family through the possible process the juvenile will go through.

Social workers also see to it that as much as possible the juvenile’s rights are not abused. This include protecting the juvenile from torture and possible putting him/her among adult suspects and not remanded unduly long whether in the Police custody or in DSW’s custody. The Social workers contact with the home also helps the Police to determine the type Of remand the juvenile will need (to release him on remand to his own parents.

Criminal Justice Social Work (CJSW) is a broad definition that unifies the collective activities of social workers in various parts of the criminal justice system in the United States. For the most part, social work has limited representation as leaders in formulating service delivery policies, procedures, and long-term reforms at high level national (or state-level) strategic planning for system-wide service delivery.

CJSW must assert its leadership at all levels of the system, including juvenile justice. This assertion of leadership requires a examination of how CJSW functions within the American criminal justice system, and how the profession’s leadership voice can be heard as the criminal justice system goes through its own self-examination.

First of all the social worker needs to work with the child directly in order to modify the child’s behaviour and attitudes through a series of interventions which can be done as follows:

  • Accepting the delinquent as it is.
  • Showing non judge. mental attitude.
  • Establishing string case worker and client relationship.
  • Be a patient listener.
  • Encourage the discussion about his reasons of revolt against law.
  • Making him understand the importance of legal and social norms.

When viewed from the perspective of training, experience, and historical knowledge of criminal justice (and juvenile justice) issues, the social work profession in the U.S. has the capacity to join other professions in a leadership role in the country’s efforts to maintain public safety through crime prevention and addressing factors that will reduce offending.

The challenge for the profession is to make the case to the key decision-makers in the criminal justice system that the social workers can play more significant and prominent roles in helping to improve public safety through psycho-social service delivery. The social work profession can (and should) make a strong case that its fundamental values, education, and skill sets are immediately transferable to meet the needs of the U.S. justice system. In addition, the profession should reinforce its long-term historical experience with providing comprehensive psycho-social services to lie criminal and juvenile justice systems.

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