Social work potential in probation through practicing the strengths perspective
In hopes of a higher crime prevention, a new law was adopted in Lithuania in 2012 – Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Probation. The purpose of this law is the supervision and control of convicts and their successful resocialisation. Convicts or people that have spent some time in detention centres belong to a very specific group of society. Specialists who work with the people from this group should know theories and methods of social work if they want to achieve the resocialisation of the mentioned type of people. The aim of this paper is to identify the potential of social work in probation from the perspective of strengths.
A qualitative research method was selected for the analysis, and the data were gathered through a semi-strctured interview. The data obtained were analysed using a content analysis method. The data showed the similarities of activities and roles between the probation officersinspectors and social workers. The inspectors play an important role in the resocialisation of the people on probation: they show support and motivate these people to make positive changes in their lives, as well as cooperate with other institutions that may be interested in the resocialisation of the people on probation. A lot of strength perspectives may be found in the probation activities, since, when working with the people on probation, their internal and external strengths are emphasised and they are motivated to find purposes in their lives. Even though the research showed that one of the biggest strengths of the people on probation is their family, the probation inspectors focus as much on the convicts’ social surroundings and attempt to create a large network of social support around the person under supervision.
Keywords: resocialization, strengths perspective, probation.