FFP® Model

While evidence-based assessment and intervention have been increasingly implemented in juvenile justice systems, far less attention has been paid to the evolving roles of probation counselors, parole officers and other juvenile justice community staff. At FFT LLC, we believe that juvenile justice workers can play key roles in whether a change program is successful or not. The way these staff create buy-in with youth and families, link them to programs and support progress can be critical components to effective change.


Background

In 2004, Washington state juvenile parole was at risk of being defunded. Evaluations by the State’s Institute for Public Policy had demonstrated that community supervision had NO EFFECT on reducing recidivism. This was for a group that was at the highest risk of re-offense in the state.

To put community supervision on an evidence-based track, officials in Washington State approached FFT LLC to take what’s known to work in the treatment of at-risk and delinquent youth, and adapt it into a case management system for juvenile justice.

The results have exceeded expectations. FFP® is the first juvenile justice supervision model to demonstrate reductions in recidivism. In 2012, the Washington State Institute for Public Policy recommended FFP® as “evidence based,” its highest designation of effectiveness, and the sole supervision model to be granted such status.

Specifically, FFP® has demonstrated success in reducing recidivism, out-placement and revocations, while significantly increasing family functioning, employment and school attendance.


How FFP® Works

FFP® reorients the focus of juvenile justice workers charged with supervising youth in the community by clarifying their roles and understanding that case management occurs in distinct phases. By applying the right goals, skills and activities at the right time, the model creates a coherence that helps workers stay on track despite what are often very complicated client situations, risks and histories.

FFP®’s first step expands the target of intervention beyond just the youth. From the very beginning, FFP®-trained workers consistently meet with families. By applying research on how to engage resistant youth/families, we:
  • identify challenges and strengths critical to change throughout family system, and
  • help both workers and family members see that solutions and changes are possible.
In doing so, we motivate youth/families to more fully take part in interventions via specific techniques that enhance youth and family involvement.

In keeping with our idea that change occurs in phases, FFP® then understands how interventions are best selected and how youth/families are most effectively linked to, supported and monitored in those change programs.

Finally, we work to get the most out of programs we refer to, and in the final phase of FFP®, organize toward sustaining specific, durable change that continues beyond case closure.

FFP®-trained staff become stronger advocates of effective services. They play a more effective part in assessment, referral, monitoring and maintenance of change brought about by effective programs and interventions. Indeed, in many FFP® projects, implementation can have a cascading effect across the community, helping to shift services in ways that are more effective with juvenile justice populations.


How FFP® Works

FFP® is implemented in Los Angeles County Probation, Multnomah County (Portland OR) probation, in Walworth and Rock Counties in Wisconsin, in the provinces of Amsterdam and Zeeland in the Netherlands, and in county jurisdictions in northern California.

While FFP® is on the cutting edge of evidence-based supervision in juvenile justice, FFT LLC has been involved in a ten-year project of adapting and applying FFP® to child welfare case management in the Netherlands. Early evaluations indicate lower placement rates, higher levels of goal attainment and shorter durations of supervision.

Even more recently, FFT LLC has applied FFP® as integrated case management across child welfare and juvenile justice both in the Netherlands and more recently in Wisconsin. In these systems, families – not a service system “silo” – drive intervention. Thus, workers apply the model not only for youth acting out behavior, but also as a result of “within family issues” more associated with child welfare referrals.