Connecticut-Family-S.. - Status Offense Reform Center

Report
Connecticut
Family Support Centers
Erika Nowakowski
Connecticut Judicial Branch: Court Support Services Division
Center for Best Practice
June 25, 2010
Systems Change for
Status Offenders in Connecticut
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Connecticut juvenile population
Impetus for Change: legislative background and
target population
Family Support Center model
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Services
Screening and Assessment
Interventions
Implementation process: considerations and
challenges
Measuring and monitoring outcomes
Lessons learned
Definition of FWSN

Five (5) categories that constitute a FWSN referral
to court for a child under the age of 16:
 Runaway without just cause
 Beyond control of a parent/guardian
 Engaged in indecent/immoral conduct
 Truant from school or overtly defies school rules
 Age 13 – 15 and has engaged in sexual
intercourse with a person 2 years of his/her age
Before Legislative Change
Connecticut Juvenile Court
FY 2006-2007
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15,857 distinct juveniles referred to court
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1,675 distinct juveniles admitted to detention
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10,910 Delinquency
1,212 Youth in Crisis (status offenders age 16 & 17)
3,735 FWSN referrals (status offenders under 16)
Average daily population of 169
50% with FWSN history*
12% with FWSN and VOCO*
49% of FWSNs are female; 51% are male
34% of all referred juveniles are FWSN; 15% violate
orders
After Legislative Change
Statewide FWSN Referrals Down

Calendar Year 2006
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Calendar Year 2007
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3,638 FWSN Referrals
3,263 FWSN Referrals
Calendar Year 2008

2,187 FWSN Referrals
10% reduction from
2006
40% reduction from
2006
3 year comparison of FWSN referrals
4000
3753
3500
3000
2403
2500
1872
2000
1500
1000
500
0
6/06-5/07
6/07-5/08
6/08-5/09
Decrease in Judicial Handling

10/1/06 to 4/30/07
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10/1/07 to 4/30/08
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1,397 non-judicial FWSN
89 judicial FWSN
10/1/08 to 4/30/09
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1,222 non-judicial FWSN
1,309 judicial FWSN
1,341 non-judicial FWSN
47 judicial FWSN
0 FWSNs or FWSN Violators in Detention
Decreased Violations, Commitments

10/1/06 to 4/30/07
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10/1/07 to 4/30/08
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30 FWSN Commitments of 181 total commitments (17%)
263 violations for FWSN & Delinquent
6 FWSN Commitments of 134 total commitments (4%)
166 violations for FWSN & Delinquent
10/01/08 to 4/30/09
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8 FWSN Commitments of 151 total commitments (5%)
How did we get there?
Legislative Changes
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PA 05-250: Children of Families with Service
Needs; effective October 1, 2007
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Prohibits holding a child whose family has been
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adjudicated as a FWSN in juvenile detention, and
Prohibits adjudicating FWSNs delinquent solely for
violating a court's FWSN order
PA 06-188: Establishes Families With
Service Needs Advisory Board
Legislative Changes

Amendments of CGS §46b-149 included changes to:
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Processing FWSN referrals
Time a judge may permit the matter to be continued with
no adjudication (up to 6 months with a 3 month extension
for cause)
DCF FWSN Commitment; requires assurance of least
restrictive environment
Services that must be available
Process for adjudicated FWSNs who violate a court order
Types of environments allowable for FWSN violators
New Court Referral Process
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New Parent Complaint Notification Form
Changed the School Truancy/Defiance of School
Rules Complaint Form
Considerable changes in requirements for
Judicial handling
High-need FWSNs diverted directly to services
(to FSCs in 4 areas)
Role of Juvenile Probation

Supervisors Screen FWSN Referrals; focus is
on court diversion
Refer directly to FSC (high needs indicated)
OR
 Assign a probation officer to assess needs and
refer to services
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All Cases Handled Non-judicially
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Exceptions: Continued and escalating problem
behavior in conjunction with community based
services being exhausted
Family Support Center: Funding
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Judicial Branch requested state funds for 10
centers to serve 13 juvenile courts
Target Highest-Need FWSNs
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Estimated 25% of all referred
FY 07/08 state budget funded four (4) of ten,
remainder of funding requested for FY 08/09
and again for FY 09/10
Funding included process and outcome
evaluation
Family Support Center: Referrals
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Probation Supervisors receive and review referrals from
complainant
If risk/need indicators are moderate/high, referral is sent
immediately to FSC and FSC must contact the family within
3 hours
If risk/need indicators are mild/moderate, case is assigned to a
probation officer for standard processing
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If after meeting the child and/or family, probation officer uncovers
more risk/needs indicators, referral to FSC can still be made
DCF liaison can/is also be consulted; 3 of 4 courts instituted a
triage meeting with DCF
564 referred since 10/07; 506 with intakes
R eferrals and Intakes at F SC
140
120
120
111
111
103
100
85
80
72
67
71
60
40
20
0
7/ 08 - 9/ 08
10/ 08 - 12/ 08
1/ 09 - 3/ 09
4/ 09 - 6/ 09
Family Support Center: Goals

To divert FWSNs from further court
involvement:
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Offer a “one-stop,” multi-service model of care
for children and their families
Provide an array of services on-site
Prioritize collaboration with systems, service
providers and families
Family Support Center:
Who are the Kids?
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Cases are VERY Complex
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Multiple system involvement: Many services have already
been tried
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Prior out of home placements
Home-based services
Outpatient substance abuse and mental health services
Significant mental health needs
Have witnessed or been victims of abuse/violence
Parents have untreated and significant needs
Educational challenges
Stressed families
Family Support Center:
Client Demographics
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Average age is 15
75% of FSC clients are minorities
Gender distribution by FSC site
 Bridgeport 62% M, 38% F
 Hartford 25% M, 75% F
 New Haven 54% M, 46%F
 Waterbury 32% M, 68% F
Family Support Center:
Model Underpinnings
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Principles of effective practice
Strengths-based
Gender responsive
Trauma sensitive
Family focused
Individualized
Family Support Center:
Key Elements
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Focus on initial engagement
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Contact families within 3 hours of receiving the
referral
Must continue attempts until all options are exhausted
Provide comprehensive screening, assessment and
case plan (called collaborative plan)
Services needed are services offered; match the
child/family to the services indicated through
assessment
Collaboration with systems and service providers
Family Support Center: Services
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Crisis Intervention
Family Mediation
Case Management/Coordination
Educational Consultation/Advocacy
Aftercare Services
Referrals to home-based programs
Flex Funds for Pro-social Activities
Family Support Center: Groups
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Trauma Services/ Intervention
Cognitive Behavioral Interventions
Female-specific services
Parent/ Family Skill building
Family Support Center:
Screening and Assessments
According to the OJJDP, screening and assessment
instruments are desirable if they are:
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Easy to read
Paper and Pencil
Assess mental distress and disorder and/or substance use
needs
Culturally sensitive
Reliable and Valid
Age- and Gender-based norms
Family Support Center:
Screening Instrument
Screening instruments should:
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Assess psychological or behavioral conditions
Have low cost and fees
Be brief and simple to administer
Offer easy scoring
Be quick and simple to interpret
Family Support Center:
Assessments
Assessment is defined as,
“a more comprehensive and individualized
examination of the psychosocial needs and
problems identified during the initial screening,
including the type and extent of mental health
and substance abuse disorders, other issues
associated with the disorders, and
recommendations for treatment intervention”.
(OJJDP, 2004)
Family Support Center:
Screening and Assessments Tools
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Comprehensive screening process
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Juvenile Assessment Generic (JAG)
Suicidal Ideation Questionnaire (SIQ)
Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument-2
(MAYSI-2)
If indicated, assessment is conducted
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Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths with
Mental Health Challenges (CANS-MH)
Traumatic Events Screening Inventory (TESI)
Family Support Center:
Staffing & Training
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Staff interview process must reflect the key underpinnings of
the program model
Each staff must have an individual development plan
Staff must be held accountable to set standards and rewarded
for model adherence
Training (plus coaching) must begin with how you expect
staff to treat the clients
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Motivational interviewing
Strengths-based practice
Trauma sensitivity
Cultural competence
Gender responsivity
Training on practices and interventions
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Process must include quality assurance and feedback to encourage
improvement
Family Support Center:
Measuring/Monitoring Outcomes
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Utilize Contractor Data Collection System to collect
data from FSCs
Justice Research Center conducted process and
outcome evaluation
Quality assurance on select groups
Compliance specialist ensures contract compliance
CBP staff ensure model fidelity through coaching
and support
Family Support Center:
Outcome Measures
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Client Level
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Program Level
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Recidivism; including referral for another FWSN
Educational improvements
Family functioning improvements
Overall client functioning improvements
Service completion rates
Treatment matching
Model fidelity
System Level
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Reduction/elimination of FWSNs in detention
Reduction of judicially handled FWSNs
Reduction of repeat FWSNs/ FWSN delinquents
Reduction of FWSN Commitments
C o mpletio ns and Successful C o mpletio ns by Quarter
100
89
90
79
77
80
72
70
63
60
51
50
complet ions
42
successf ul
40
30
19
17
20
10
8
7
0
0
1/ 08 - 3/ 08
4/ 08 - 6/ 08
7/ 08 - 9/ 08
10/ 08 - 12/ 08
1/ 09 - 3/ 09
4/ 09 - 6/ 09
P ercentage o f Successful C o mpletio ns by F SC
100%
90% 90% 92%
90%
90%
83%
81%
80%
80%
73%
68%
70%
61%
56% 56%
60%
50%
50%
44%
40%
25%
30%
20%
14%
10%
0%
Wat erbury F.S.C.
Bridgeport F.S.C.
7/ 08 - 9/ 08
10/ 08 - 12/ 08
New Haven F.S.C.
1/ 09 - 3/ 09
4/ 09 - 6/ 09
Hart f ord F.S.C.
Lessons Learned
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Implementation requires an active partnership
between model developer and the agency
implementing the model
Process evaluation helps streamline program
processes and activities
Collaboration with referral source is paramount
Must have established ties with other systems/
service providers
Collect data that will help determine if outcome
objectives are being met
Detail processes and inform partners
Connecticut Contact Information

Erika Nowakowski
 860-721-2199 ext 3141
 [email protected]

Kimberly Selvaggi
 860-721-2171
 [email protected]

State of Connecticut, Judicial Branch
Court Support Services Division
936 Silas Deane Highway
Wethersfield, CT 06109

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