Task-centered social work with young offenders

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Kallies, Lynn Elizabeth
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This practicum explores the use of the Task-Centered treatment model with youth 16 and 17 charged under the Young Offenders Act in Ontario and sentenced to an open custody facility. The aim of Task-Centered intervention is to enhance client problem-solving skills while reducing, or decreasing the frequency and quantity of problems identified by the client. Clients move toward solutions to problems through the problem-solving strategies employed by the model. The application of the practice strategies of the model are presented in three case examples. Data was collected for 6 youth who were referred for this practicum. Results indicate that of those youth who participated in task-centered service, all rated a degree of change in their original problems. Additionally, there was an increase in 4 of the 6 clients perception of their problem solving abilities. The strengths and limitations of the model in its application with the young offenders in the practicum are discussed. Conclusions are that Task-Centered treatment is most likely to be successful with youth who can readily identify areas in their life in which they want to see change. The youth must acknowledge and agree to work on a specific problem as utlined in the model. And the task-centered model is likely to be more successful in addressing certain target problems when combined with comparative treatment models.