Youth that desperately need AOD counseling are falling through the cracks due to lack of communication between county agencies and no continuity of care/aftercare in place for the youth involved within the Court.
The mission being to both increase family involvement and positive peer influences, as well as, maximize motivation and the commitment to therapy.
Moderate risk youth offenders, juvenile and diversion, ages 11-17. Both male and female.
Below is the process outlining what and how a youth will be assigned to the Substance Abuse Court service:
- Initial charge filed/pre-adjudication; complaint arrives at Court via law enforcement agency
- Screening tool implemented. These tools have proven to be extremely effective in identifying a youth’s overall risk level to recidivate as well as provides staff with indications of substance abuse issues. This tool asks the youth pertinent questions regarding family, peer relationships, education, life skills, values, substance/mental health and juvenile history.
- Once determined appropriate for the plan, the youth and guardian will be given a consent to treat form, which they both must sign. This form will reflect what the program entails and what is to be expected from the youth and his/her guardian(s). Services are free of charge.
- A formal assessment will be conducted; Biopsychosocial, ASAM accredited. The guardian will be present for a portion of the assessment; pertaining to presenting problem, family history and youth’s at home behavior. Once the assessment is completed the guardian will be asked to step out so that the counselor can complete the remainder of the assessment with the juvenile.
- The assessment will allow for a more individualized treatment plan; both the youth and counselor deciding the objectives and goals.
- Program tasks will include a workbook for structured assignments; option of 57 session topics pertaining to early recovery skills and relapse prevention. Incorporate Stages of Change and The 16 strategies of Juvenile Drug Courts
- IMPROVEMENT Plan duration will be approximately four months, 50 minute sessions, ideally meeting individually weekly; on top of probation.Youths in need of substance abuse services may fail to receive these services for a variety of reasons.
- “Aftercare”- the remainder of the youth’s probation will serve as an aftercare program. The typical length of probation is six months, allowing two months of follow-up care and utilization of skills learned.
- If youth would relapse after completion of program, yet while still on probation, a refresher course must be completed. Revising the youth’s relapse prevention packet and having he/she identify what they could have done differently and what tools they learned but did not use, would be the focus of this course.
- A formal graduation ceremony will follow, presenting youth with a certificate.
DISCLAIMER: The umbrella concept of treatment consists of re-instilling morals and values along with providing life skills to help the youth succeed in the future. Also discovering one self and developing positive self-worth habits will be evident in the programs under tones. Being able to build healthy relationships and identify toxic relationships will be an important component. Having the youth begin to plan ahead by developing skills that will allow he/she to create a structured schedule and accomplish more pro-social behaviors to allow their lives to become more manageable.