|Theses - Social Science & Design AIT
|This study sets out to explore multi-disciplinary engagement between professionals in the
juvenile justice system. It examined professional’s views and experiences in the area of
multi-disciplinary practice. The study was conducted with six professionals who are working
with young people who are coming to the attention of the criminal justice system. The
combination of convenience sampling and snowballing sampling resulted in the author
obtaining a range of different participants. These include: a Family Support Worker,
Community Garda, Youth Worker, Probation Officer, Youth Diversion Project Worker and a
Mentoring Project Co-ordinator. In order to ascertain this information the researcher adopted
a qualitative approach in the form of semi-structured interviews. These interviews were
carried out in six different geographical locations nationwide. The interviews were recorded
and transcribed and then the results were thematically analysed.
The aim of this research was to investigate multi-disciplinary practices between professionals
within the Juvenile Justice System in Ireland. It examined professional’s views and
experiences on how disciplines engage with other professionals and agencies. Finally it
sought to identify the factors that support a good working relationship and those that inhibited
A review of the literature investigated the current research on multi-disciplinary practice.
Various academics and reports have highlighted the importance of multi-disciplinary
working. Likewise, various reports and documents have recommended professionals to
amalgamate together. Often each professional possess different values, norms and
understanding of the complex issues they are dealing with. Kilkelly (2006) argues that the
lack of co-ordination, communication, between departments and the absence of clear lines of
accountability has led to a disjointed system of addressing the problems of children at risk.
Coinciding to the literature, results showed that professionals had a clear understanding of the
benefits of working together. Professionals highlighted the main factors that support a good
working relationship as clear honest communication and an understanding of other
professional’s roles and duties. The author explored the levels of engagement between
professionals. Interestingly, the changes that have occurred in the field of the juvenile justice
system and with the establishment of the Irish Youth Justice Service which both recognise the
need for multi-disciplinary practice, the results from this research indicate that an integrated
approach is not improving between professionals. Furthermore, it is evident from the
professionals who participated in the research study, that there was a clear interest and desire
for professionals to amalgamate for a type of training together.
The research concluded with recommendations for the introduction of a shared
communication network database to encourage greater contact between professional and
promote the importance of sharing information and data. It would be useful to have greater
links between ranges of professionals as this would encourage a more integrated approach.
The author made recommendation for a duplicate training programme similar to Copping-On
Crime Prevention Training Programme to commence. A further recommendation was
outlined for on-going research in order to monitor the levels of engagement amongst professionals.
|Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Ireland
|Juvenile justice - Administration - Ireland
|Social care - Profession - Ireland
|Children - Services for - Ireland
|Multidisciplinary practice in juvenile justice.