Engaging Families in the Rehabilitation of Children and Youths at Risk and in Conflict with the Law

November 27, 2016

by Victorine Ambe, Cameroon COE Chapter Leader

To ensure a successful and sustainable rehabilitation of children and youths at risk and in conflict with the law by the end of each rehabilitation process.

To counsel families into knowing the importance of their active engagement in the rehabilitation of their children and youths in conflict with the law.
To engage families during rehabilitation of children and youths at risk and in conflict with the law

Families are fully engaged in the rehabilitation of these children and youths at risk and in conflict with the law. This facilitates the rehabilitation process and strengthens family ties. Hence peace and love is fostered in the family which further radiates into the community leading to a peaceful and loving society void of fear and violence.

Here is the story of how the family of a 17 years old boy (name withheld for confidentiality) participated in imparting the success of the rehabilitation program for their child who was in conflict with the law. In the first session with child, the father was present in which he had to state his experiences with the offence of the child. He says: “I have suffered a lot with this child. He has been very stubborn and he dropped out of school in primary four. He engaged in stealing around the house. I have beaten, advised, spent money and done all I could to help him to no avail. He was rather becoming worst until he found himself in prison after breaking into a grocery shop and stealing some items. Since he was in prison, I have had no peace of mind. This offence has brought a lot of problems in my family. The only good thing is that I have hopes that he will change.” The boy after listening to the father felt very bad. It was perhaps the first time the boy ever heard all the hurdles his family has gone through because of him. He made a promise to his father that he will change. The presence of his father here made a great impact as the child kept on repeating the promise he made to his father during his first counseling session. He kept saying: “I will change and impress my father.” The counselor has been working with this family and juvenile in and out of home to ensure the success of the rehabilitation process.

In one of the counseling sessions in which assertiveness and decision making is made, the boy after some given time decided on what he wants to do as profession in live. He said he wished to become a professional in motor bike mechanics and a vendor in all its spare parts along side. This was another critical point that had to engage the family for support. Together with the family, the placement of this boy was easy and he is presently doing what he is passionate about. Monitoring and evaluation is being carried out by his counselor and family both at home and out of home. Families therefore must contribute in the rehabilitation processes of their children.   

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