Date of Conferral





Human Services


Scott Hershberger


Juvenile delinquency is a social issue which has been shown to have a significant cost to society in a variety of ways which include community safety, the cost of arrest, charges, and court processes, as well as the damage done in families and to the youth through the label of juvenile delinquent or Person in Need of Supervision (PINs). One important area in treatment and discharge planning for youth designated as either juvenile delinquent or Persons in Need of Supervision is the inclusion of supports to help youth change the trajectory from these behaviors into more socially acceptable activities and actions. The research problem addressed in this study is that the supports utilized at this time are insufficient and ineffective, as evidenced by rates of recidivism. The purpose of this study was to explore whether the use of non-custodial grandparents in treatment and discharge planning as a support system is of value to the youth and their parents. Using a grounded theory methodology, professional staff from Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care (MTFC) programs, now known as Treatment Foster Care Oregon (TFCO), which work with these youths and their families and was developed based on social learning theory, participated in interviews to obtain data regarding the use of non-custodial grandparents and whether they were found to be of value. The results of the study support the use of grandparents under specific conditions, such as when they have positive relationships with parents and when they are positive role models themselves. NVivo 11 software was used to assist in the process of analyzing the data collected from these professionals. The implications for social change remain that the process of assisting youth to make these changes could create safer communities with lower crime rates, and decreases in the costs associated with the legal process, and these savings can then be passed on to communities and to the taxpayer.