EDUCATION AS PART OF A THERAPEUTIC TREATMENT IN FORDULAS, A FORENSIC PSYCHIATRIC UNIT FOR ADOLESCENTS
, S. Tremmery2
1UPC Sint-Jozef Kortenberg (BELGIUM)
2Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University Hospitals Leuven / Department of Neurosciences, KU Leuven (BELGIUM)
Getting a proper education is one of the most important goals during childhood and adolescence. In the field of forensic adolescent psychiatry a successful reintegration in school is a major aim of the treatment program. The major purpose of the education program at Fordulas, an intensive treatment unit for delinquent adolescents with psychiatric problems, is to stimulate the scholastic skills and to develop a reintegration trajectory at school.
The severe behavioral problems of the adolescents in our unit also reflect at school attendance and performance. A substantial amount of the adolescents have a school lagging behind of one or more years, are expelled from one or more schools and have no school at the time of admission. Most of them have problems with authority, attention deficits, limited social skills and are influenced by negative peer pressure. Scientific research has shown a significant co-morbidity between behavioral problems and learning disabilities (Vedi K., Bernard S., 2012). Sometimes the learning disabilities are not recognized because of the prominent behavioral problems.
Due to lack of a good medical practice model, a phase program was developed in our department to achieve the best possible outcome. Success experience is the major motivation of our process of change. The social competence model (Ter Metz E., 2006) and different motivational techniques are used at the unit to learn the adolescents act and react in an adequate way in scholar situations with peers and teachers. In a first phase, we focus on the education level scaling, the learning disabilities, the influence of the psychiatric disorder on the learning process, motivation and psychosocial functioning . In a second phase, adolescents participate in a classroom structured therapy where scholastic attitudes and the minimalization of the school backlog are the main focus. In a third phase school reentry is realized with permanent monitoring and evaluation by different members of the team and responsible teachers at school.
In this presentation the motivational techniques that are used to get this youngsters back to school will be explained. We also focus on the methods that are used for a proper level scaling and enlighten the process of school reintegration. Finally we present the outcome data of the education program in our unit during a period of 3 years.
Ter Metz, E. S., H. (2006). Competentievergroting in een Forensische Jeugdpsychiatrische kliniek. Handboek. Duivendrecht, Nederland, PI Research.
Vedi K., Bernard S.(2012). The mental health needs of children and adolescents with learning disabilities.Current Opinion in Psychiatry. 25(5):353-358.