When a youth is placed on probation in Vermont, a Family Services social worker may be assigned to supervise the probation and work with the youth to make sure he or she meets the conditions of probation.
Disposition Case Plan
A Family Services social worker may develop a Disposition Case Plan that describes:
- The issues that brought the youth to court
- An assessment of the impact of the delinquent act on the victim and community
- A description of the youth's home, school, community, and current living situation
- An assessment of the youth's medical, psychological, social, educational, and vocational needs as well as the youth and family's strengths and risk factors
- Proposed conditions of probation that address the identified risks and provide for reparation to victims and the community
- A plan for services required to successfully complete probation
- The responsibilities of the youth, family members, department, and treatment providers
To complete this plan, the social worker will first complete a youth assessment — a collaborative process that involves the social worker, the youth and the family.
The social worker will use the Youth Assessment and Screening Instrument (YASI™) or other assessment tool to:
- Identify the youth's strengths and challenges
- Measure challenges and strengths (risk and protective factors)
- Establish goals and priorities for behavior change
- Gain a clear understanding of how the youth and family function as a system
- Develop a plan for services that address the relevant issues
Issued by the court, the Probation Certificate lists the duration of probation and the conditions the youth is required to meet. The court may, for example, require the youth to:
- Make amends to the victim (e.g., write a letter of apology and pay restitution)
- Perform community service for a specific number of hours
- Stay in Vermont unless granted permission to leave by the social worker
- Not go certain places and/or see certain people
- Live at home or other location specified by the court
- Participate in services that are therapeutic, educational or vocational
Failing to comply with these conditions may require returning to court for violating probation and could result in DCF custody.
A Balanced & Restorative Justice (BARJ) Approach
BARJ is an approach to juvenile justice that includes both the victims and community in responding to crime and focuses on offender accountability and community safety.
Click here to read more about BARJ.