The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) and the Colorado Court Improvement Program (CIP) designated the 19th Judicial District as a Model Court Site on December 23, 2007. Youth & Family Connections' 1451 CMP was designated as the “Oversight Committee” for the Model Court program. This project’s outcomes/goals are addressed by the following Model Court subcommittees:
- Visitation/Orientation - Making sure that parents are in the most appropriate form of visitation to keep families together while protecting and improving the child’s life.
- Transition/Education - Identifying gaps and needs of youth that are “aging out” of the foster care system including skills training, preventing homelessness, becoming a member of the community, etc.
- Permanency - Shortening time between children becoming available for adoption and their actual adoptions while addressing the youth’s struggles (i.e. prior abuse, attachment problems, etc).
Supported the improvement of juvenile information sharing.
- Implemented the use of a common Release Information Form that enables cross-system information sharing among multiple agencies while eliminating or reducing the need for each agency to have their clients sign multiple release forms;
- Participating in the Governor’s Colorado Child and Youth Information Sharing – Steering Committee
Worked with the Department of Human Services and various other community agencies to form a multi-disciplinary Utilization Review Team which has greatly reduced the number of youth placed out-of-home for treatment.
Helped to secure Federal funds for the Regional Meth Partnership – Resulting in improved integrated substance abuse, mental health and community services. This has increased the safety, well-being and permanency of children who have become involved in the child welfare system due to methamphetamine and other substance abuse.
Provided funds to Weld County partners to support collaborative programs, services, and activities that provide positive alternatives to incarceration, reduces truancy and provides alternative paths to high school graduation through credit recovery;
- Juvenile Assessment Center – Funding for program and facility infrastructure, development, and operation.
- Truancy Response and Intervention Program – Start up funding and ongoing support to help maintain the program. The administration and oversight of this program was transferred to the Juvenile Assessment Center from the District Attorney’s Office in July of 2008.
- Today Offers Positive Skills (TOPS) Day Report Center – Partially funded the startup costs for this program which will serve approximately 60 youth offenders per year on pre-trial or adjudicated status, with the goal of reducing the number of juvenile commitments in Weld County and improving the participants’ opportunities for success.
- Greeley/Evans School District 6 Alternative Program (GAP) – Provided startup funding for infrastructure needed to implement this district wide credit recovery program. Through the GAP, people ages 17-21 can get the credits they need for a diploma, closing the gap between their educational barriers and their dreams. This program planned to serve at least 80 youth during the first year of operation. During the 2008-09 school year, The GAP served 178 of which 17 students graduated and 2 received their GED.
Formed the Truancy Response Workgroup, made up of multiple Weld County School Districts, the 19th Judicial District, and the National Center for School Engagement to identify and create protocols that can be adopted and conformed to in Weld County.
Formed a Substance Abuse Response Workgroup and partnered with the State Meth Taskforce, Colorado Alliance for Drug Endangered Children, Weld County - Colorado Prevention Partners Project and the Omni Institute to conduct a Community Resource Assessment, an environmental scan of issues in Weld County and to hold a County Wide Substance Abuse Summit:
- Developed an understanding of the gaps related to services for Weld County youth whose permanency has been affected by meth or other drug use;
- Explored “strategic junctures” in the continuum of prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery; and
- Developed plans to address substance abuse in Weld County by: integrating and coordinating services, supporting the further development and utilization of the United Way 2-1-1 system, expanding mentoring opportunities throughout the county, enhancing school-based support services, and developing an accurate community educational campaign regarding prevention, early intervention, treatment options and recovery.
In May 2009 the JAC received a Strategic Statewide Use Fund (SSUF) TANF grant to provide needed support and services for teen parents and pregnant teens. These services and support are designed to help these youth to remain engaged in their education and graduate high school; and to successfully complete any court ordered requirements, if applicable. The project will help to improve graduation rates, increased number of youth successfully completing court sentencing requirements, reduced demand for services by the Juvenile Court, Probation services, Youth Detention and law enforcement.
- This grant will support the Weld County Department Health & Environment with funding, provide scholarships for needed services and support, and will fund the expansion of JAC operations over the next 12 months.