Juvenile Justice, Mental Health, & Youth of Color: A Framework for Action in Texas Presented by Southwest Key Programs, Inc.
Workshop Objectives • Provide overview of research and recommendations • Present current infrastructure and pressing problems • Explore SWK youth justice models that are inclusive of families
Research and Recommendations What do the numbers say?
Unique Research Study and Report • Published in 2010 • By UT School of Social Work & Southwest Key Programs • - First to address mental health issues in the Texas juvenile justice system as they impact youth of color • - Interviewed system involved youth and their families • - 2009 Juvenile Justice, Mental Health and Youth of Color Symposium
Misplaced and Misunderstood 50% to 75% of youth nationwide in juvenile justice system have a mental health disorder 9,000 families relinquished custody of their children to juvenile justice system so their children could access mental health services 40% of African-American youth are placed in the juvenile justice system, while only accounting for 15% of total youth population
The most common pathway for youth of color to enter the juvenile justice system is through SCHOOLS
Infrastructure and Pressing Problems Let’s explore the issues?
Discussion of Pressing Problems • Identification and Assessment • Pathways to the Juvenile Justice System • Contact with the Juvenile Justice System • Treatment and Aftercare
Barrier of Access • Stigma of mental health needs • Lack of awareness and education • Lack cultural diversity and competency of service providers • Lack of integration and coordination of systems
Recommendations • Increase accessibility of services • Expand engagement efforts • Develop programs that divert youth from juvenile justice system • Use mental health screenings that are culturally relevant • Ensure greater family and consumer involvement in treatment • Increase treatment services for youth while in custody
Increase Accessibility Increase Accessibility Expand Engagement Efforts • Establish a infrastructure of culturally competent community-based services • Promote culturally appropriate public education and outreach • Strength the capacity of schools, probation, and child welfare to appropriately identify and address mental health issues • Create awareness that early and repeated exposure to violence correlates with school behavior and mental health problems • Recruit and educate service providers with a diverse and culturally competent staff which can encourage keep families to seek help and remove stigma
Divert Youth with Mental Health Symptoms Develop Programs to Address Needs Culturally Relevant Screenings • Deliver adequate care in juvenile justice system • Heighten risk for victimization • Likely to increase not reduce issues • Create policies and practices regarding problem behavior that consider mental health concerns • Increase culturally sensitive legal representation for all youth • Screening tools should improved to identify and be validated for: • Risk factors • Trauma • Racial backgrounds • Socioeconomic backgrounds • Strength factors • People who administer and interpret the assessments should be culturally competent
How should youth who have mental health care concerns while in custody be treated?
Involve the Family and Youth Ensure Greater Family Involvement Increase Treatment Services • Encourage family participation • Successful aftercare is more common with family support • Strengthen and expand assessment and treatment services for youth who remain in the system • Coordinate services with other public agencies and community-based providers including aftercare services
Let’s Hear from Each Other • What are your experiences? • What have you done or seen that worked well? • Where are the gaps?
Common Program Elements • Immediate response 24/7 • Strength-Based Approach • Flexibility to Individualize Treatment Plan • Build Family’s Ability and Capacity to Work as a Team • Community based, culturally relevant, gender- and language-specific services • Limited Use of Out of Home Placement • Data-Driven Programming
Family Keys – Status Offender Diversion Program The Family Keys Program has been accepted as an OJJDP Best Practice Model under Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders. The goal of this program is to decrease the number of status offender cases that go to court and result in out-of-home placement. Program components include • Immediate and intensive crisis management • Crisis intervention and stabilization services • Short term intervention services • 24 hour access to SWK staff • Family-centered and strength-based service planning • Discharge and aftercare support
Family Keys – Status Offender Diversion Program OUTCOMES • 98% of youth remained free of any offense • 94% of youth remained in the community
Youth Mentoring Program • Population – Lower level Adjudicated Youth between the ages of 10-17 years • Length of Service –Twelve (12) month and longer • Intent – Provide youth with a positive role models who can serve as guides and supports thus increasing protective factors and resiliency • Design – • One to one youth mentoring design • Culturally Competent Mentor Recruitment Efforts • Intensive Mentor Training and ongoing monthly support groups • Ongoing Support for Mentors and Mentees
Youth Mentoring Program • Goals • Reduce juvenile delinquency, criminal activity, and gang participation • Improve academic performance • Reduce school drop-out rates • Increase Protective Factors and Resiliency
Community Connections Program WRAPAROUND APPROACH • Designed to enhance communication and build relationships between youth and families. • Family-centered and strengths-based approach to service delivery. • Promotes family self-sufficiency, positive parental control, and law abiding youth behavior.
Community Connections Program COMPONENTS • Coordination of Youth & Family Support Teams • Transition Planning Services • Education Support • Clinical Support Services • Individual, Group and Family Counseling • Case Management • Linkage to Community Resources • Crisis Intervention and Safety Planning • Comprehensive Assessments • Vocational Readiness Support • Discharge Planning
Community Connections Program OUTCOMES In Travis County: • 94% of youth completed program without having an out of home placement • 95% were not rearrested for a crime during their enrollment • 97% were in attendance at all scheduled court hearings In Erie County: • 93% of youth completed the services without being placed in an institutional setting. • 95% of youth completed the service without having an AWOL petition • 97% of clients received immediate intervention services within 24 hours of referral
SPECIALIZED TREATMENT SERVICES Alcohol & Mental Health Treatment Services • Population – Adjudicated Youth with an assessed need for Specialized Treatment Services. • Length of Service – 12 weeks to 6 months • Intent – Provide treatment services in the home and community to assess, stabilize and treat youth for identified issues • Design – Designed to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate home and community based treatment services that are client and family centered and strength based. • Approaches utilized – Cognitive Behavioral Treatment, Motivational Interviewing, and Trauma Informed counseling – Provided by licensed clinicians
SPECIALIZED TREATMENT SERVICES Alcohol & Mental Health Treatment Services • Home & Community Based Services During Non-Traditional Hours • Comprehensive Assessment • Multi-Disciplinary Treatment Approach • Strength Based Service Planning • Crisis Stabilization/Intervention • Curriculum Based Substance Abuse Group/Individual Counseling • Mental Health Individual Counseling • Discharge Planning
Presenters Contact Information Southwest Key Programs, Inc. 6002 Jain Lane Austin, Texas 78721 p. 512-462-2181 f. 512-462-2028