FAMILY CONNECTION-COMMUNITIES IN SCHOOLS
Chair: Hon Robin Shearer, Judge, Athens-Clarke County Juvenile Court
Staff facilitator: Tim Johnson, FC-CIS executive director
Meeting schedule: Third Tuesday, 8:30 a.m.
Meeting location: Clarke County DFCS
Description: Public and private organizations, Neighborhood Leaders, and others work together for improved safety and community stability for all children and families. Work has primarily focused on prevention of child abuse and neglect, improved support for victims of abuse and neglect, prevention of engagement in the Juvenile Justice system, improved outcomes for those in the Juvenile Justice system, promotion of youth leadership, and related activities.
Outcome goals: Reduced child abuse and neglect, expanded availability of foster homes to allow all foster children to remain in the community, appropriate services (including appropriate treatment for PTSD), prevention of bullying, prevention of underage drinking and use of illegal drugs, improved school attendance/reduce truancy, reduced incarceration of juveniles, increased involvement in youth leadership, and related outcomes. Improved physical environment in neighborhoods.
Examples of accomplishments: Developed and created Child Advocacy Center for children suffering sex abuse (operated by The Cottage). Successfully advocated for creation of Family Protection Center to provide support for survivors of domestic violence and child abuse & neglect. Developed and implemented school attendance panels and other strategies to improve school attendance. Implemented family team meetings. Reduced child abuse and neglect (though back up sharply recently). Sharp reductions in juveniles sent to detention centers. Developed and implemented CHINS (Children in Need of Services) protocol as part of Juvenile Justice system reform. Established Peer Court (implemented & operated by UGA’s J. W. Fanning Center). Established Youth Police Academy (operated by Athens-Clarke County Police Department). Neighborhood Leaders (parents in high poverty neighborhoods) completed Citizens Police Academy and implemented prevention programs in their neighborhoods. Neighborhood Leaders played lead role in re-designed Jack R. Wells public housing neighborhood. Right Track services were established for child sex offenders. Established protocol for early year service providers when child taken into foster care. Three Habitat houses built in key neighborhood. Juvenile Justice probation officers stationed in two high schools. Balanced & Restorative Justice approach implemented. Family visitation center established. Safe & Welcoming Schools established in public schools. Established Rites of Passage program.
Examples of new/developing initiatives: Working regionally (facilitated by J. W. Fanning) for expanded availability of foster homes. Athens-Clarke County has established a gang prevention task force. CHINS committee continues working across agencies to support youth in need. More services needed to address PTSD and other emotional health needs. Police Department creating Youth Services Division. Family Treatment Court to address addiction and other issues for families engaged with the Court.
Examples of solutions for needs as identified by the SAT and the current status of the solution
|Anti-Bullying Intervention||Safe & Welcoming Schools project from UGA CoE is being implemented in some schools, training provided to all schools. Conflict resolution training provided by Ga Conflict Center in Clarke Middle and Classic City High schools|
|Peer Court||In place (led by Emily Boness of Fanning) but funding needed to sustain.|
|Attendance Panel||In place. Expanded/revised to school-based|
|Truancy Court||In place|
|Safe Routes to School||In place at some schools.|
|Safe Dates||In place|
|Teen Texting Program||In place through Project Safe|
|Rites of Passage||In operation but needs to expand; has very limited resources|
|Mindfulness for Rites of Passage||Funding for instructor needed|
|Citizens Police Academy||In place; some Neighborhood Leaders participated|
|Youth Police Academy||In place, sessions have been held, future sessions planned|
|Increase adult literacy||In place, needs expansion|
|Habitat houses||Habitat completed the two promised houses and added a third, with more planned|
|Re-construction of Jack R. Wells public housing neighborhood||Complex demolished, first phase completed, all phases will be completed|
|Provide Child Advocacy Center support services to children who have been sexually abused||Provided by The Cottage|
|Provide Right Track services for children who have committed sex offenses||ABHS provides but currently no one specializes|
|Implement Balanced & Restorative Justice (BARJ) model into Juvenile Justice||Being implemented by DJJ and the Juvenile Court|
|Utilize Family Team Meetings model||DFCS child safety cases utilize FTM model|
|Establish family visitation center for families with children in foster care||Established through Children First in house donated by Emmanuel Episcopal Church|
|Establish CHINS (Children In Need of Services) collaborative staffing||In place, meets twice a month|
|Establish CHINS protocol and standing order||Established and in place|
|Establish protocol for early year service providers when child is taken from the home||Established and implemented through our SAT|
|Expand foster home availability||Outreach being done, some increase, far more needed|
|Development and implement strategies to prevent gangs||Athens-Clarke County has established a task force which is in the process of developing plans.|
|Establish Family Treatment Court||Established by Juvenile Court, graduations have been held|
|Establish Youth Services Unit in Police Dept for prevention services||ACC PD is in process of developing it|