Study Design and Sampling Method
The purpose of this study is to determine the impact of the social program for children on juvenile probation, and their parents on the reduction of repeated offenses by children. Consequently, one should consider and evaluate many different aspects influencing a family interaction to determine the main features that affect this social program. For this purpose, the evaluation program, precisely formative evaluations will be used, which will allow researchers to consider the elements of the program to improve and develop it.
A review of the literature pointed out some aspects that can affect the interaction of parents and children who are or have passed juvenile probation. For this reason, it is impossible to assess the positive or negative impact of parental involvement on the integration of children into society and reduce the likelihood of repeated criminal behavior, since this factor depends on many variables. For example, these factors can be social status, legal education, or living conditions (Cavanagh & Cauffman,2017; Paik, 2017). Social workers should distinguish these aspects and help parents acquire the necessary communication and other skills to improve their interaction with their children and positively influence them. Consequently, the formative evaluation program will be most appropriate for this study.
The method of collecting and analyzing data will be a quantitative analysis, and the method of collecting information will be a survey. This approach will help to note how different aspects of the interaction between parents, children, and a social worker affect the youth’s rate of repeat offenses and find weaknesses that need to be improved. A random sample of children and adolescents who completed a probationary period from 6 to 36 months ago will take part in the survey. The estimated sample size is 100-150 children and one of their parents; however, there is a high probability that the sample can be smaller due to the refusal to participate. An important aspect is that the sample contains young people who committed the offense once and also had repeated offenses. For this reason, requests will be made to the social services of several states to provide data to contact potential participants by phone or e-mail. However, there is also a risk that services will refuse to provide confidential data. The questionnaires will be sent by e-mail to parents and children separately.
Data Collection Methods and Measures
The method of data collection will be a quantitative survey based on a questionnaire. For this purpose, two questionnaires will be developed, one for children and the other for their parents or guardian. The questionnaires will contain closed-ended questions to get more accurate statistics and the average value for various aspects of the program (Rubin & Babbie, 2016). Open-ended questions are less convenient for this study, since they do not correspond to the research question and, in this case, cannot show a correlation between different variables.
The questions for the child will be divided into three categories regarding his or her feelings and attitudes about integration into society and the possibility of repeated violation. Other parts will be related to the assistance that his or her family received from social workers, as well as the support of parents and guardians. Answers to questions will range from” Strongly Agree” to “Strongly Disagree.” For example, an adolescent will need to choose the answer to the statement, “A social worker helped me and my parents build relationships” or “I feel that family support has helped me integrate more quickly into society.”
The questionnaire for the parent and guardian will also contain similar questions with a rating scale from “Strongly Agree” to “Strongly Disagree”; however, parents will evaluate their interactions with the child, the assistance of the social worker, and changes in the behavior of the child. In addition, both questionnaires will contain multiple-choice questions about age, gender, socio-economic status, living conditions, education, and the legal knowledge of participants in particular. Both profiles also will be tested on a small sample of five children and their parents to determine incorrect and irrelevant questions. Thus, this method of data collection contributes to more convenient coding of information and calculation of correlations between various variables.
Data Analysis Plan
This study requires a quantitative analysis of the survey data, as well as its comparison with the original records of social workers. The first step is to code the received data, as well as the files of social services about the absence or presence of repeated offenses, and their processing through statistical tools (Rubin & Babbie, 2016). Further, the analysis will consist of several stages to evaluate the impact of various social aspects on the likelihood of repeated children’s offenses. For example, the central tendency of how parental involvement affects children’s behavior and integration, and whether social workers assisted parents and children in acquiring the necessary knowledge and developing their relationships, will be evaluated.
Moreover, an analysis of the relationship between the variables will be carried out to note the dependence on the success of the communication between parents and children. In this case, both bivariate and multivariate analysis that examines relationships between two variables will be used thoroughly and fully (Rubin & Babbie, 2016). The strength of the relations between the variables will be evaluated by using measures of association such as correlation coefficients since this method is most convenient after coding and processing the data. These approaches will help to track which aspects are most important in the education of parents to direct efforts to improve them in social programs.
As a result, these measurements will help determine the answer to the main research question about the impact of social workers working with parents of juvenile offenders on probation on youth’s rate of repeat offenses. In addition, the data obtained on the correlation of various variables will indicate aspects that must be used to improve social programs and work with juvenile offenders’ parents. Therefore, these analysis methods will cover the entire range of studied issues.
This study has several ethical and even legal considerations since the object of the research is private information about offenses and family relationships. Many people are uncomfortable discussing these aspects of their personal lives as they cause an emotional reaction and can hurt other people’s feelings (Blaikie & Priest, 2019). In addition, the survey cannot be anonymous, since analysis requires real records of child offenses. Therefore, all participants must be sure of the confidentiality of their data even between family members, since answers to questions can cause conflict situations.
Ethical issues can also arise in connection with the wording of research questions as they relate to the personal aspects of life and can provoke an adverse reaction of the respondent. For this reason, researchers need to make sure that all questions are unbiased and non-discriminatory before sending questionnaires, as well as interpreting the results (Blaikie & Priest, 2019). The ethical and legal aspects also arise because of the use of a database of young people who have completed the juvenile trial period. This data is confidential, so it may be difficult for researchers to access it and offer participation to potential respondents. At the same time, due to the specifics of the research topic, random sampling through other channels, for example, an online questionnaire in the public domain, significantly reduces the likelihood of obtaining a sufficient sample and reliable information.
Confirmation of the positive effects of parental involvement on juvenile probation to reduce repeat offenses has a significant impact on the justice system. Such a conclusion will help prove that social programs aimed at assisting families are effective, which will increase their importance in society. Consequently, the judicial system will be interested in offering juvenile probation and social programs to offenders, since this approach will reduce the crime rate among young people in general.
Moreover, the identification of specific aspects that have the most significant effect on the relationship between children and parents who help them integrate into society can improve the programs and training of social workers. Enhanced interaction between social workers and families will increase the effectiveness of programs and reduce repeated violations of children on juvenile probation (Vidal & Woolard, 2016). Consequently, the judicial system will gain an advantage, since the crime rate among adolescents and adults will decrease, as children who avoid criminal can become adult responsible members of society.
Blaikie, N., & Priest, J. (2019). Designing social research the logic of anticipation. Cambridge: Polity.
Cavanagh, C., & Cauffman, E. (2017). What they don’t know can hurt them: Mothers’ legal knowledge and youth re-offending. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 23(2), 141-153.
Paik, L. (2017). Good parents, bad parents: Rethinking family involvement in juvenile justice. Theoretical Criminology, 21(3), 307-323.
Rubin, A., & Babbie, E. R. (2016). Essential research methods for social work (4th ed.). Boston: Cengage Learning.
Vidal, S., & Woolard, J. (2016). Parents’ perceptions of juvenile probation: Relationship and interaction with juvenile probation officers, parent strategies, and youths compliance on probation. Children and Youth Services Review, 66, 1–8.