Tools for Professionals

1. Framework for the support of families affected by the Criminal Justice System

In the summer of 2015, Scotland’s eight Community Justice Authorities (CJAs) signed off a Framework to support families affected by the criminal justice system. Developed with support from the Lothian & Borders CJA, the Framework alerts professionals about how their work applies to families in the justice system and what they can do to mitigate any negative impacts.


A valuable tool for self-assessment of practice, the Framework is intended for use across various settings and circumstances, by any agency directly or indirectly involved in the support of families. Its eleven broad outcomes and associated recommendations describe an ideal standard of support for families affected by the criminal justice system.

For a presentation explaining the use of the Framework, play the PowerPoint below:

A supporting document is also provided, designed to supplement the Framework.  Here, users of the Framework will find further information relating to the Framework’s Outcomes and Recommendations including rationale and good practice examples:

Use the self assessment tool in conjunction with the Framework to assess your work with families affected by the Criminal Justice System.

2. Criminal Justice Family Support Network – Good Practice Guidance

Good Practice Guidance for the Support of Families Affected by Imprisonment


Click on the image to open the document

The Network has produced this Good Practice Guidance with the aim of ensuring organisations and individuals who come into contact with families, in or out of the criminal justice sector, are best informed and engaged to provide better support for families affected by imprisonment.

The Guidance is written for professionals working with families, whether from voluntary or statutory organisations, and can be used by family members themselves.  It gathers together evidence from research and practice, drawing on the expertise of Network members throughout Scotland.

The Guidance is a ‘living’ document which the Network will update as the landscape for families changes.

3. Family Justice and The Vera Institute (USA)

With kind permission of Family Justice and The Vera Institute (USA), Families Outside has adapted a number of tools which help develop more positive engagement between professionals and the families they work with.

1. Strength Based, Family-Focused Practice: Clinical Guide from Family Justice (pdf)

2. Ecomapping & Strength-based Genogram (Word.doc)
(training video – 105Mb – ecomapping)
(training video – 101Mb – genogram)

Please note that each training video should take about 30 minutes to download.

A video of the ‘La Bodega de la Familia’ project which was run by Family Justice (USA) is also available to download and offers useful background to support the tools we have provided.  Please click here (80Mb).

For more information about the Relational Inquiry Tool in the ‘La Bodega de la Familia’ video, please contact Families Outside (Scotland) or The Vera Institute of Justice (USA).

The Vera Institute of Justice provides training and technical assistance on those tools and methods refined at ‘La Bodega de la Familia’ and Family Justice Inc.  For more information, click here.

The presentation that introduced these training tools at the Families Outside seminar on 21 May 2010 is also available to download for information.  Please click here.