The Garda Youth Crime Case Management Programme – A Garda perspective on the role and the relationship dynamics involved when managing cases of high-risk young offenders appearing before the Children Court.
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An Garda Síochána have rolled out a national programme for managing young offenders. The programme aims to provide a child centred, family inclusive, multi-agency approach to manage young people who are before the Courts. The programme has been in operation since 2007 but to date there has been no published research on it. To address that gap this research examines the perspectives of six Garda case managers to gain an insight into the development and evolution of the specific relationship that exists between a Garda case manager and a young offender. The research centres on a number of key questions including: what is the role of the Garda youth crime case manager? What are the dynamics involved in the relationship between the case manager and the young offender? How do the dynamics involved in the case management relationship evolve over time? And what are the implications of these developments for youth justice practice? A review of literature specific to managing youth crime was conducted. An overview of the operation of the programme was obtained from the programme‟s national co-ordinator. Then to gain in-depth knowledge into the experiences on the ground six Garda case managers were interviewed in a semi-structured way. The interview data was analysed and coded for presentation of the actual experiences of those involved in the programme. The findings are not of general application but give a valuable insight into the programme and the relationship dynamic that develops between the Garda case manager and the young person being managed. This study only scratches a very interesting but complicated surface and the research may provide a platform for developing further research in the area.
O'Brien, J. (2014) The Garda Youth Crime Case Management Programme – A Garda perspective on the role and the relationship dynamics involved when managing cases of high-risk young offenders appearing before the Children Court.Masters Dissertation, Dublin Institute of Technology.