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01-08-2010 | Original Paper | Uitgave 4/2010

Journal of Child and Family Studies 4/2010

A Clinical Model in Action in Intensive Residential Treatment: Meeting the Needs of Adolescent Boys who have Experienced Domestic Violence

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 4/2010
Janet Stewart, Nick Todd, Cameron Kopeck


The Habitat Program at Wood’s Homes, Calgary, Alberta, is an eight bed residential treatment program for conduct-disordered youth who have been exposed or subjected to high levels of violence in their family home. The program was based on the assumption that working effectively with such youth requires consideration of the background experiences of family violence, yet traditional treatment models often ignore or minimize the importance of these experiences. We present a clinical model which incorporates aspects of milieu treatment, relationship-based daily interventions and elements of Jenkins’ invitational approach to working with men and boys who use violence as well as Wade’s response-based approach to counseling with victims and perpetrators of violence. The model also incorporates ideas based on Maruna’s research into recidivism and excuse-making. The purpose of the model is twofold: to be broad enough to structure an overall treatment strategy based on the assumption that successful treatment results from the cumulative effect of many interactions over time, and to be specific enough to guide staff in developing strategies for specific situations that typically arise in daily interaction with the youth. We use a case example format to illustrate how staff has utilized the model to engage youth in exploring both their experiences of violence in the family home and in developing new ways of thinking and talking about behavioural choices.

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