Masters Thesis

Do group homes that house wards of the state provide evidence-based practices?

Group homes provided various programs for children under the age of 18 who have experienced substance abuse, physical and/or mental health abuse. The Kern County Probation Department wanted to know if group homes used Evidence-Based Practices (EBP). EBP help find a wards’/offenders’ risk level to reoffend and then they are provided with Evidence-Based Treatment; it significantly reduces their propensity to re-offend. Wards/offenders have to receive the proper treatment and be evaluated to meet his/her criminogenic needs. Wards/offenders usually end up in the custody and care of the KCPD. Some wards/offenders are sent to group homes. Wards are usually taken away from unfit parents. However, troubled wards/offenders usually have anti-social skills, anger issues, and low-self-esteem. The purpose of this study was to determine if group homes used Evidenced-Based Practices (EBP) to evaluate wards/offenders appropriately. In addition, the KCPD wanted to know if group homes used (who house Wards/offenders) EBP and to provide recommendations to create a program to educate group homes on EBP. The researcher created a survey to determine if group homes used Evidenced-Based practices (see appendix C). From this study it was learned that 51% of group home staff members do not know what EBP are, 48% would like to know more about EBP and how to use it. 51% of participants did not answer questions 2-9 because the survey asked if participants did not know what EBP are he/she could not continue the survey. However, 36% stated he/she attends EBP; after confirming with the KCPD they stated the department does not provide groups homes with EBP training yet. Based on the results it is recommended that group homes coordinate with KCPD and work on meeting the criminogenic needs of wards/offenders. In addition, for group homes to seek help from the KCPD in regards to EBP. It is also recommended that the KCPD create a program to educate and train group home staff members on EBP. The collaboration between KCPD and group homes can help wards/offenders meet his/her criminogenic needs.

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