Activity Description to Include:
- The quantifiable purpose of the activity - the immediate short-term outcome
- The referral process for the activity, and what the activity does with the youth
- The length, frequency, and duration of services
- How the activity determines success
The purpose of this application is to expand a model of collaboration between mental health, child welfare and the juvenile justice system that has been highly successful in our community and by doing so, achieve the short-term outcome of reducing the number of youth officially referred to the Court, Secure Detention or placement through child welfare. The proposal seeks to expand the CAST process that has been available to youth and families in the local juvenile justice system since 2004. CAST is an acronym for Court Assessment Services Team, a service team comprised of Community Control staff a mental health professional and a representative from Children Services . CAST (Court Assessment Services Team) is a screening and referral process that provides early intervention. The team conducts a comprehensive screening and assists youth by coordinating services for them to community resources as recommended. At the CAST meeting, if age appropriate, the child is given the MAYSI -2.,child welfare and mental health also complete initial screening from within their respective agencies. During the meeting the team seeks to identify the behavioral issues that led to the referral, develop strategies for addressing the issues and develop and execute a safety plan. The youth and her/his parent/guardian(s) have confirmed appointments with appropriate agencies at the conclusion of the assessment.
A CAST team member follows up with the referral within two weeks to ensure they are receiving the necessary services, based on individual needs one or more follow up meetings might be held in order to ensure compliance with the safety plan.
Over the last 12 months, there have been 99 CAST meetings held with 39 of them resulting in follow up meetings. Over half of the referrals came from parents and 41 of the referrals from law enforcement for domestic violence related behaviors. Community Control currenty supports this program by delegating each Community Control officer CAST responsbilities, on a rotating basis. As this program has grown it is difficult for the Community Control officers to balance CAST responsibilities in addition to probation, diversion and group facilitation, while remaining responsive to this much needed process. In order to expand, enhance and provide a more rapid response to address the needs of youth and families, the Court will dedicate a full and part-time staff person to this project.
Refferals are received from parents, schools, community agencies and law enforcement, through the administrative office of Community Control. After completing a brief questionaire over the phone the family is scheduled for a CAST meeting.
The length and duration of involvement with the family depends on the individual needs of the family. Success for this activity is determined by the level of engagement the family shows in following the safety plan.
First Outcome: 75% of those youth involved with the CAST process will not penetrate further into the court system, one year following the termination of the involvement with CAST. Additional Outcomes:
Quality Assurance measures are as follows: re-assessment of youth's progress, youth and family satisfaction survey's and monitoring of compliance with safety plans.Quanitative data will be collected and maintained by Predictive Analytics and the Coordinator of Assessment Services will check the Court data management system in order to track further involvement with the Court.