The Forward-Focused Model

Developmentally Informed Treatment for Juvenile Justice-Involved Adolescents


by Nancy G. Calleja, Ph.D., LPC


Buy it now | Download the table of contents and the introduction

WP161Safer Society Press is proud to publish this important new book. The Forward-Focused Model (FFM) for treating and rehabilitating adolescents with serious offending behaviors was developed by Nancy Calleja working with the California Department of Juvenile Justice. The FFM reflects our most significant new knowledge about adolescents with serious offending behaviors, including a primary focus on using adolescent development to both conceptualize behavior problems and to effectively treat adolescents, an emphasis on the role of trauma and risk factors, the promotion of pro-social identity development and social support, the use of experiential learning, and the development of effective coping skills. The developmentally-informed model was created specifically for residential programs, but can be applied to outpatient services as well. This book introduces the FFM and the empirical knowledge upon which it is based. A facilitator’s guide and a youth workbook will be available in Spring 2015. Together, the three books provide a complete and comprehensive treatment program that also includes quality assurance monitoring tools and an outcomes evaluation.

About the author

Nancy G. Calleja received her Ph.D. from Wayne State University, where she also received her undergraduate and master’s degrees. She is Chair of the Department of Counseling & Addiction Studies at the University of Detroit Mercy. Dr. Calleja is also Clinical Director of Spectrum Human Services, Inc. and Affiliated Companies and has worked in juvenile justice for more than 25 years. She has been awarded numerous grants for conducting research relating primarily with the treatment and rehabilitation of adolescents. Dr. Calleja has designed and implemented numerous treatment programs for adolescents and young adults, and has worked with both private agencies and public systems. In 2010 she was contracted by the state of California to design and implement a juvenile sex offender treatment program, the work which has led to the Forward-Focused Model.


Praise for the forward-focused model

Dr. Calleja has provided a comprehensive approach to the treatment of juvenile offenders. Based on the most current research on adolescent development, the Forward-Focused Model provides a strength-oriented, state-of-the-art-program which can adapted to a variety different settings and problems. Its highly structured nature makes it ideally suited to programs which use a team approach.

Barbara K Schwartz, PhD, Program Director, The R.U.L.E. Program, Maine Department of Corrections

We have seen many positive changes since implementing the Forward Focused Model in our system in 2012. The goal of any program should be building in their clients the ability to have a healthy and successful life, not just avoiding re-offending. This is what the Forward Focused Model does for our youth.

Heather C. Bowlds Psy.D., Senior Psychologist – SBTP Coordinator
California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation,
Juvenile Justice, Health Care Services

When I first saw Dr. Calleja’s treatment curriculum all I could think was “finally an evidence-based treatment model that uses multiple learning approaches that youth can relate to!” When I saw the curriculum in action, I begged Nancy to publish her approach. The model is developmentally sensitive, addresses the trauma so many justice-involved youth have experienced and focuses on key criminogenic factors.

– Nancy M. Campbell, Principal, Justice System Partners, Washington

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