Back to overview

2016-56: Collaboration with forensic clients in social care (Call 2016-56)

Target group

Professionals who deal with forensic clients within the social shelter institutions.


The guide deals with several themes that are important in the treatment, care and support of forensic clients, and is primarily intended for employees of the Social Care Department. The guide is also helpful for employees of penitentiary institutions and the three probation organisations. The guide is based on a document study, interviews with social care (MO) providers and case study discussions between social care providers, the probation service and the correctional facilities. The most important insight and essence of this guide is that the social responsibility for the safe and proper resocialisation of people in society is a joint effort. In an ideal situation, social care institutions, together with the parties involved, the forensic client and the surrounding social network, determine what the result should be. You will then discuss with each other how this result can be achieved and what is needed to achieve it; each offering input from their own role, expertise and responsibility. In practice, for employees of social care providers, this means the following:

 ✓ Understand the working methods of judicial chain partners
✓ Get to know your cooperation partners
✓ Try to understand each other: ask questions and explain

The themes and concrete recommendations are summarised in the 'roadmap' (see also Appendix c). A five-step plan sets out which points of attention play a role in the ‘route’ of a forensic client to appropriate support, care and treatment.
The themes and concrete recommendations are summarised in the 'roadmap' (see also Appendix c). A five-step plan sets out which points of attention play a role in the ‘route’ of a forensic client to appropriate support, care and treatment.

1. Registration: Each organisation has its own internal work method. Social care providers want clients to be registered in time, and judicial chain partners would like to know quickly whether the placement is possible. That is why you should make agreements with your judicial chain partners about what 'timely registration' is, about interim communication about the placement and about the period within which you, as a social care provider, can give a definite answer about the placement. In addition, it is good to draw up a list with the standard information that you want to be shared. Agreements on required information that is not available may also be included.

2. Intake: Make agreements with partners in the judicial chain about who should be present at the intake (e.g. also the relevant supervisor of the probation service). The client must be made to feel the 'owner' of their project. Together, you will determine the goals, the necessary care and support. Ensure reach agreement on the division of roles and tasks in the event of escalation (violation of the conditions); this helps you as a social care provider to be clear about when you need to escalate and when not. Organise a joint intake if multiple social care providers are involved. Make agreements with judicial partners about the basic conditions required for placement at your social care institution and start the counselling early, at the correctional facility or forensic care institution. Make sure the client is introduced to the counsellor and the social care provider beforehand.

3. Implementation: Plan an initial interview with the client, the social care counsellor and the probation service. Make agreements about responsibilities and expected contributions. Make agreements about the follow-up and joint consultation. Use the expertise and experience of the probation service, especially if something is not clear or you need help with something.

4. Escalation: Discuss the possibilities for upscaling and back-up in case of escalation with the probation service. As a social care provider, always report a violation of the terms and conditions.

5 Organising follow-up care: Make a timely assessment of what the client's ‘intention’ is. Anticipate and start organising follow-up care in time. Make sure there is a plan B.

In the collaboration, these points of attention are designed as 'do's'. The guide also contains several bottlenecks (don’ts) that have been substantiated with several concrete cases. According to social care providers, the following points are the main bottlenecks:

  • Registration of a client at a social care facility is often done at short notice, which means that there is not always room for clients.
  • Not all the necessary information is available or is sufficiently exchanged.
  • Clients do not always meet the preconditions, such as income, benefits, meaningful daily activities and housing (or registration at a housing corporation) when they leave the correctional facility. This is a risk for the client (uncertainty, debts, risk of recidivism) and difficult for social care providers because this way, the client starts from a disadvantage.
  • The transition from the closed setting during detention to the open setting of a social care provider is very large. This can lead to a rapid relapse of a client and unilateral termination (by the client).
  • The division of tasks and responsibilities is unclear.
  • Chain partners do not know each other well enough and make insufficient use of each other's expertise.
  • Employees of social care providers experience anxiety and demonstrate an incapacity to deal with the forensic target group.
  • Obtaining an indication for follow-up care has become more difficult as a result of the decentralisations.
  • Follow-up care is available to a limited extent.

Executive party

Significant, in cooperation with Federatie Opvang and the ‘Continuity of care’ programme.