Girls Only Active Learning (GOAL)

The growing number of girls within the juvenile justice system has facilitated federal, state, and local momentum to explore gender-specific intervention approaches. The pathway of female youth into the juvenile justice system differs from that of male youth with respect to the types of offenses that bring girls into the system. Additionally, justice involved female youth often present with different mental health needs than their male counterparts. In response to this, The University of Washington has collaborated with court and community agencies from Benton, Franklin, King, Pierce, Snohomish, Thurston, and Yakima counties to develop and test a girl-specific substance-use and behavioral intervention program. The Girls Only Active Learning (GOAL) program utilizes an evidenced-based, cognitive-behavioral approach to develop prosocial skills and disrupt risky behavior amongst female youth. A yearlong pilot analysis of the program has revealed that girls participating in the GOAL program are significantly less likely to engage in delinquent behaviors than girls assigned to complete traditional court prescribed treatment programs. The GOAL program will continue to be tested to examine whether observed effects maintain beyond a pilot-level scale.

 

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