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Managing High Risk Young Persons in Social Welfare Institutions MultifunC Multifunctional Treatment in Residential and Community Settings. Developmental Project in Norway and Sweden.

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Managing High Risk Young Persons in

Social Welfare Institutions


Multifunctional Treatment in Residential and Community Settings

Developmental Project


Norway and Sweden

The MultifunC-projectwassponsored by theMinistry of Children and Equality in Norway, The National Board of Institutional Care (SiS) and Centre for Evaluation of Social Services (IMS) in Sweden.

  • Review of theresearchonresidentialtreatment of antisocialbehaviour in juveniles (2001-2002).

  • Development of a residentialtreatment program basedontheresearch (2003-2004).

  • Implementingthetreatment program – MultifunC- in Norway (five units) and in Sweden (two units) (2005-2007). Later also in Denmark.

  • Evaluation of the program (2010-14)

”Principles of effective intervention/treatment”

Andrews, Zinger, Hoge, Bonta, Gendrauog Cullen (1990).

Carleton University

Perhaps the most important results from the research is the formulation of:

Principles of Effective Intervention(Andrews et al., 1990)

Risk Principle:Intensivity of intervention should match

individual risk level. Target high-risk offenders (those with

many risk factors).

Need Principle:Targets of interventions should be

known dynamic risk factors (criminogenic needs).

Responsivity Principle:The intervention should be

matched to the individual learning style. Use methods based on

cognitive behaviour and social learning theory.

There are Three Elements to the Risk Principle

  • Target those offenders with high probability of recidivism (high risk).

  • Provide most intensive treatmentand use most resources on high risk individuals.

  • Intensive treatment for low risk offenders can increase recidivism, specially if they are mixed with high risk offenders.

Important differences between groups of children with antisocial behaviour (High risk and low risk) Moffitt, 1993; Pardini and Frick, 2013Developmental Trajectories



Life-Course Persistent


  • ‘Life-Course Persistent’ trajectory - early neuro-psychological and many environmental risk factors

  • Early differences in cognitive, behavioural and personality functioning.

  • Similar presentation with ‘Adolescent Limited’ individuals during adolescent period.

  • Adolescent Limited have few risk factors. Driven by antisocial peers. Different needs!



Adolescent Limited


Infancy Childhood Adolescence Adulthood

Forensic Adolescent Network. SAH. 3.10.08 Vizard, Mc Grory and Farmer

Major Risk Factors

Support for the Risk PrincipleEffects for 13200 placed in institutions (Lowenkamp and Latessa, 2002, 2006)

Effects for low risk

Effects for high risk

Matched with the same risk level in interventions outside institutions

Mixing different risk levelsmay be harmful

Lowenkamp, Smith and Bechtel, 2007

Need PrincipleMajor Risk and Need Factors and Promising Intermediate Targets for Reduced Recidivism

FactorRiskDynamic Need

History of AntisocialEarly & continued Build noncriminal

behaviourinvolvement in a number alternative behaviours

antisocial actsin risky situations

Antisocial personalityAdventurous, pleasureBuild problem-solving, self-

seeking, weak self management, anger mgt &

control, restlessly coping skills


Antisocial cognitionAttitudes, values, beliefsReduce antisocial cognition,

& rationalizations recognize risky thinking &

supportive of crime, feelings, build up alternative

cognitive emotional statesless risky thinking & feelings

of anger, resentment, &Adopt a reform and/or

defianceanticriminal identity

Antisocial associatesClose association withReduce association w/

criminals & relative criminals, enhance

isolation association w/ prosocial people

from prosocial people

Adopted from Andrews, D.A. et al, (2006). The Recent Past and Near Future of Risk and/or Need Assessment. Crime and Delinquency, 52 (1).

Major Risk and Need Factors and Promising Intermediate Targets for Reduced Recidivism

FactorRiskDynamic Need

Family Key elements areReduce conflict, build

caring, betterpositive relationships, monitoring and/orcommunication, enhance

supervisionmonitoring & supervision

School and/or workLow levels of performanceEnhance performance,

& satisfactionrewards, & satisfaction

Leisure and/or recreationLow levels of involvement Enhance involvement

& satisfaction in anti- & satisfaction in prosocial

criminal leisure activitiesactivities

Substance AbuseAbuse of alcohol and/orReduce SA, reduce the

drugspersonal & interpersonal

supports for SA behaviour,

enhance alternatives to SA

Adopted from Andrews, D.A. et al, (2006). The Recent Past and Near Future of Risk and/or Need Assessment. Crime and Delinquency, 52 (1).

The Treatment Principle

Slide 12

The most effective interventions are behavioural

  • Focus on current factors that influence behaviour

  • Action oriented (practical training)

  • Offender behaviours are appropriately reinforced

    The most effective behavioural models are

  • Social learning—practice new skills and behaviours

  • Cognitive behavioural approaches that target criminogenic needs

Adherence to Risk, Need, General Responsivity by Setting: Community Based versus Residential Programs




# of Principles Adhered to in Treatment

Source: Adopted from Andrews and Bonta (2006). The Psychology of Criminal Conduct (4th). Newark: LexisNexis.

Doesthisapply in Europe ?

«A systematicreview and meta-analysisontheeffects of youngoffendertreatmentprogrammes in Europe» (Løsel et al., 2011).

  • Behavioural and cognitivebehaviouraltreatments more effectivethanother types

  • Adherence to theprinciples of risk, need and responsivity (RNR) showed less re-offendingthancontrolgroup

In addition to theworkofthereaserchers from Carleton University,

MultifunC is basedonresearchonseveralothertopicsthat

areimportant in residentialtreatment;

  • Balance betweenStructure and support (Gold and Osgood, 1992; Brown et al, 1998), control and autonomy (Sinclair and Gibbs, 1998), effects of peer culture (Dodge, Dishion and Lansford, 2006), need of re-integrationinterventions and aftercare, (Altschüler, 2005; Liddle , 2002), fidelity..............………………

  • Liddle, 2002: Residential treatment needs to be understood as part of a continuum of services. The quality of the post-treatment environment--particularly relationships with family and non-criminal friends and involvement in school and pro-social activities--are critical predictors of recovery.

Peer culture and the Risk ofiatrogeniceffectsofgrouptreatment

  • Influence of antisocial peers and antisocial peer cultures are important risk factors.

  • In residential settings an unintended consequence might be that the group might contribute to the development and maintenance of antisocial behaviour, and then to iatrogenic effects of the treatment (Dodge, Dishion and Lansford, 2006).

  • The risk of negative influence from antisocial peers implies that the period of time used in residential setting should be as short as possibly, and should be linked to community services and aftercare.

How should re-entry or aftercare programs be designed?

  • Lowenkamp and Latessa (2005): This question has already been answered. The core of aftercare programs should follow the basic tenets of effectice treatment programs.

  • Provide the most intensive aftercare programs to high risk juveniles.

  • Target risk factors on several domains; that means the juvenile, family, school or work, leisure time and friends!



School or work


Peers and leisure time

Other problems




Residential treatment as part of a continuum of interventions (David Altschuler, 2005)

Critical with aftercare and support outside residential placement

Conclusions from a recentreview(Mark Lipsey, 2010)

The challenges in treatment of juvenile justice involved youth is not a result of a lack of knowledge. We now have research on best practices.

We have learned about the importance of advancing our work on an ecological platform and to target risk factors on several domains, better connecting youth to family, school and to pro-social peers while utilizing a strenght based approach.

The true challenge is not a lack of knowledge of what works, but rather in translating the robust body of knowledge into practice.

Need for model-development?

  • A limitation of much of the existing research is that group care residential treatment is seen as a uniform costruct (James, 2011).

  • Most studies do not report on specific group care models, and provide only limited information on the type of group care.

  • There exists only a few such models (Teaching Family Model and Positive Peer Culture), and there is a need for developing models that is described, and then to evaluate the effects.

  • And that is what Norway and Sweden have done…….

The MultifunC-institutions

  • Small units (8 juveniles in each unit)

  • Open institutions (non-secure). This does not mean that they are free to go………..

  • Located close to community services (school, leisure/recreation activities and communication /transport)

    Makes it possibly to establish prosocial contacts, to be in

    local schools, training in new skills in natural settings,

    and to maintain contact with family.

Target group for MultifunC

  • Juveniles withseriousbehaviour problems (crime, substanceabuse, violence, etc.).

  • High risk for futurecriminalbehaviour(high total sum of risk factors – static and dynamic)

  • Beforeplacementthe Risk level is assessedwiththe risk inventoryYouth Level of Service/Case Management Inventory (YLS/CMI)

YLS/CMI: Risk domains

  • Prior and current offences/dispositions

  • Family circumstances/parenting

  • Education/Employment

  • Peer relations

  • Substance abuse

  • Leisure/recreation

  • Personality/behaviour

  • Attitudes/orientation


  • Family

  • Parental skills

  • Communication

  • Decrease antisocial

  • Increase prosocial





  • Behaviour

  • Skills

  • Attitudes

  • Attendance

  • Skills

  • Behaviour


Residential / institution





Reintegration / aftercare

Motivation Motivation PrepareFamily

Assesment Focused Treatment re-entrysupport

Structure Treatment climate

Duration of residential stay: Duration of aftercare:

about 6 months (not fixed) about 4-5 months (not fixed)



Focus of




Organizationalmodel for eachMultifunC-unit




Planning team

Mileau therapy





Family- and

After-care team

For each juvenile there areTreatment teams across all teams including one or several staff from each team.

Treatmentthattakesplace during theresidentialstaywithfocusontheyouth

  • The treatment mileau:

    • Control where this is neccesary, but no unneccessary control

    • Involvement of the juveniles wherever this is possibly

    • Structure, but not unneccessary structure

    • Principles from ”Core correctional practice” - staff behaviour

  • Interventions with focus on individual juveniles:

    • Motivating for change (based on Motivational Interviewing)

    • Behavioural analysis and/or MST’s fit-cirkel

    • Contingency Management Systems/Tocen economy and behavioural contracts

    • Aggression Replacement Training (ART)

    • Weekly treatment goals and evaluation of progress (intesivity)

Motivational interviewing

  • Motivational interviewing is a directive, client-centered counseling style for eliciting behaviour change by helping clients to explore and resolve ambivalence.

  • Compared with nondirective counselling, it is more focused and goal-directed. The examination and resolution of ambivalence is its central purpose, and the counselor is intentionally directive in pursuing this goal.

Treatment levels & Contingency Management


Residential treatment



CC (further)

Family contract

Contingency contract

Individual TE

General TE

Intensive TE

AggressionReplacementTraining (ART)

  • Toceneconomy and MotivationalInterviewingmotivates for change. The basis for actualchange is new skills which makes changespossibly.

  • AggressionReplacementTraining (ART) consistsof a multimodal intervention design thatcombines:

    • Training in controlofaggression (ACT),

    • Trainingofsocial skills, and

    • Learningof moral thinking

      (Goldstein og Glick, 1994).

Model for Aftercare





School or



Family support and aftercare


  • Increasingfamilyaffection/communication

  • Increasingmonitoring/supervision skills


  • Principles from Parental Management Training (PMT) during theresidentialstay

  • Principles from MultisystemicTherapy (MST) during leaves and aftercare

Qualityassurance systems

  • Written Manuals for each topic (assessment, treatment, aftercare and so on) is included in the treatment model

  • Training program for staffs

  • Weekly phone-consultations with checklists and discussions with each institution

  • Regularly Boosters on spesific topics

The existing



Tromsø Youth Centre

Stjørdal Youth Centre

Bergen Youth Centre


Sandefjord Youth Centre

Ås Youth Centre

Råby Youth Centre

Two units in Denmark

MultifunC will be presented in a chapter in a book in USA and England 2014: THERAPEUTIC RESIDENTIAL CARE WITH CHILDREN AND YOUTH, IDENTIFYING PROMISING PATHWAYS TO EVIDENCE-BASED INTERNATIONAL PRACTICE. Accepted for publication: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London, U.K. and Philadelphia,U.S.A. Edited by Whittaker, Fernandez del Valle and Holmes.

We have some guidelines from reserach, but there is no «Magic bullet» (Lipsey, 2007).

Conclusionsonwhatworks in residentialtreatment for juvenile offenders

Target high risk juveniles:

  • Adress both individual and contextual factors (criminogenic needs) including cognition, attitudes, education, peer associations, and family issues

  • Are able to manage serious negatively behaviour (violence)

  • Enhance intrinsic motivation through use of constructive communication, such as motivational interviewing

  • Balance between control and autonomy

  • Balance between structur and support

  • Systematic and structured training in social skills

  • Use cognitive behavioural techniques

  • Training in school or work

  • Are linked to community and help establish prosocial contacts

  • Includes aftercare as an integrated part of the intervention

  • Measures performance and use this information for continuous improvement (quality assurance)

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