Juvenile Justice System and the Social Work Profession: The Case of Addis Ketema Sub City, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


This thesis paper is aimed to explore integration of juvenile justice system and the social work profession, in handling issues of children in conflict with the law. In investigating this phenomenon, the role of social workers has been exhaustively explored starting from the first contact of the children, to the extent they graduate from the system. For the purpose of this study, the first contact of the children is the police in arrest procedure, followed by the juvenile bench in court trials, throughout institutional rehabilitation programs and ends at reintegration programs and social workers and other professionals involved in the said system participated in this research. The researcher employed qualitative research method with exploratory case study design. Primary and secondary data collection methods were used and In-depth interviews as well as focus group discussion along with observation were the data collection tools used. Using purposive sampling technique pertinent agencies and specific participants were identified and the sample size was determined on data saturation. The data is analyzed thematically putting the core point as a topic or central idea. The finding indicated the juvenile justice system and the social work profession are highly interdependent in the proper rehabilitation of children in conflict with the law. The major roles of the social workers as to the findings includes but not limited to, intake screening, crisis intervention, victim offender mediation, conducting assessment, counseling, developing intervention plan, providing direct service, facilitating services through referral, case management and reintegration. Though their contribution is quite outstanding, their involvement in the system is dependent on the discretion of other legal professionals involved. It is of paramount importance to value the role social workers play and it requires the collective effort of all actors involved to promote an eclectic and holistic service provision to ensure the best interest of these children. Key Terms; Juvenile justice system, social work, children in conflict with the law



Juvenile Justice System; Social Work; Children in Conflict with the Law