Youth Custody Services (CA-YCS) 5: Family Connections and Involvement
The youth, family, and organization work together to maintain an optimal level of family involvement during custody, and develop positive connections to support youth after release.
COA recognizes that involving families can be difficult, especially if youth are placed outside of their communities and far from their families. However, organizations should still strive to involve families to the extent possible, unless family contact is contraindicated. If family contact is contraindicated and the youth resides with someone other than a family member, it may be appropriate to involve that person instead.
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Youth Custody Services promote public safety by providing youth with a supportive, structured setting that helps them address their needs and develop the attitudes and skills needed to make responsible choices, avoid negative behaviours, and become productive, connected, and law-abiding citizens.
Examples: The organization may help the family by, for example, providing family counseling, or linking family members with needed resources. Although family members may receive services at the facility, it may also be appropriate to provide or arrange for the delivery of services in the family’s community, especially when the family lives far from the facility. Some of this work may be done by an aftercare case manager, in the context of planning for reentry.
The organization minimizes barriers to family involvement by:
including family members in scheduling decisions;
allowing participation through teleconferencing;
assisting with transportation, accommodations, and childcare, as needed and to the extent possible;
helping personnel develop and maintain positive relationships with family members; and
providing an environment conducive to family visits and activities.