The vision of Community Justice Initiatives’ Caregiver Teen Services is to work alongside caregivers and teens to create conditions that support lasting behaviour change in the ways caregivers and teens interact when conflict arises. We know that caregiver and teen relationships develop within complex contexts, and power imbalances are inherent in these relationships. Therefore, improving these situations of sustained and escalated conflict is not easily addressed within standard mediation processes alone. At CJI, we have built a menu of options in the Caregiver Teen Program including individual and group conflict coaching, referral and connection support, and facilitated dialogue opportunities between the caregiver, teens, and others involved with supporting the family.
We believe that the opportunity to coach and support caregivers and teens through a series of insight- and skill-building activities prior to mediation, increases the potential for productive family conversations. Furthermore, in situations when caregiver and teen mediation is not appropriate or desired, coaching has the potential to empower caregivers, as the “senior” partners in conflict with their teens, to alter dynamics and trajectories within their relationship.
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