04 21 2015
  4:50 am  
     •     
40 Years of Service
Multnomah County Juvenile Court

Multnomah County has won access to federal funding for its efforts to keep youth on probation at home in their families and communities, instead of sending them away to youth institutions.

Working with youth in their own homes has been shown to produce better long-term results than sending teens to correctional institutions, says Christina McMahan, assistant director of the county’s Department of Community Justice.

 “When we have evidence-based services …that are holistic, we can prevent them getting pulled deeper into the juvenile justice system or into the adult system,”

Multnomah County Commissioners heard a presentation on the funding, which comes through Title IV E of the Social Security Act, Feb. 18. The county is the first in Region 10 (Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington) to get the funding for juvenile offenders.

The county plans to apply for around $800,000 a year, delivered through the state Department of Human Services. The money will fund:

  •         Two new caseworkers to work with youth on probation.
  •      Wrap-around services through Intercept, a program run by the nonprofit, Youth Villages.
  •       Other programs including shelter beds and foster homes for youth.

Thousands of Oregon children and teens could benefit in future.  Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Lane, Marion, Yamhill and Washington counties are now planning to apply for the funds.  

That couldn’t have happened before Multnomah County, working with Oregon Department of Human Services and Multnomah County Juvenile Court Judges, removed legal barriers to using the funds to help youth offenders.

The agencies collaborated for two years to secure the funding.

Judges had to change the wording in their court orders. Oregon Department of Human Services had to change the state plan. 

“It’s an understatement to say they have been crucial to this process,” McMahan said.

“DHS had to get approval from the Region 10 administration. It’s taken a lot of work on their side.”

Researchers have found that removing youth from their families and sending them away to correctional institutions increases their risk of reoffending, says McMahan, a former prosecutor. 

“Our kids on probation are at higher risk of ending up in a youth correctional facility bed or in the adult system,” she said. “So the more we can do earlier on, the better the outcomes are for the kids.”

On the other hand, approaches that emphasize keeping youth with their families can reduce the risk of future failure.

Youth Villages Intercept program, for example, which has served more than 17,000 youth in 11 states, claims a success rate above 80 percent.

“We track our kids six, 12 and 24 months after they have left our services,” said Lynne Saxton, executive director of Youth Villages Oregon.

“It’s important to know that what you do is effective and changes the lives of children and families.”

Intercept works with youth and families in their own homes, making sure they have help available day and night, for as long as they need it.

“In the first moments of crisis for a family, if we can get a family intervention specialist in that home, we can assess what’s going on and help keep that family together,” Saxton said. “That’s our first and main goal.

“We are very often the strongest advocates for the family because we know, based on years of experience and research and data, that if we do our work well, families that no-one thought they could be successful with their kids, they absolutely can be successful.

“They just need the right level of support and help.”

Intercept’s family specialists help parents deal with any challenges they face, including problems with work, housing and other basic needs.

“If the parent has a drug or alcohol problem, we’re going to get that addressed,” Saxton said. “We’re going to help them get the help they need.”

Intercept case workers work with parents to create a safe home environment. Sometimes that means an abusive adult has to move out.

“Because we’re in the home every day – 24/7 if need be – we’re going to find that solution for that mom,” Saxton says.

Pacific NW Carpenters Union

Commenting Guidelines

  • Keep it clean: Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language
  • No personal attacks: We reserve the right to remove offensive comments
  • Be truthful: Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything
  • Be nice: No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person
  • Help us: If you see an abusive post, let us know at info@theskanner.com
  • Keep to topic: We will remove irrelevant posts and spam
  • Share with us: We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts; the history behind an article

Recently Published by The Skanner News

  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
  • When should we use military to enforce US goals? NASHUA, N.H. (AP) — Rand Paul lashed out Saturday at military hawks in the Republican Party in a clash over foreign policy dividing the packed GOP presidential field. Paul, a first-term senator from Kentucky who favors a smaller U.S. footprint in the world, said that some of his Republican colleagues would do more harm in international affairs than would leading Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton. "The other Republicans will criticize the president and Hillary Clinton for their foreign policy, but they would just have done the same thing — just 10 times over," Paul said on the closing day of a New Hampshire GOP conference that brought about 20 presidential prospects to the first-in-the-nation primary state. "There's a group of folks in our party who would have troops in six countries right now, maybe more," Paul said. Foreign policy looms large in the presidential race as the U.S. struggles to resolve diplomatic and military conflicts across the globe. The GOP presidential class regularly rails against President Barack Obama's leadership on the world stage, yet some would-be contenders have yet to articulate their own positions, while others offered sharply different visions. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, whose brother, President George W. Bush, authorized the 2003 invasion of Iraq, declined to say whether he would have done anything different then. Yet Jeb Bush acknowledged a shift in his party against new military action abroad. "Our enemies need to fear us, a little bit, just enough for them to deter the actions that create insecurity," Bush said earlier in the conference. He said restoring alliances "that will create less likelihood of America's boots on the ground has to be the priority, the first priority of the next president." The GOP's hawks were well represented at the event, led by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who has limited foreign policy experience but articulated a muscular vision during his Saturday keynote address. Walker said the threats posed by radical Islamic terrorism won't be handled simply with "a couple bombings." "We're not going to wait till they bring the fight to us," Walker said. "We're going to bring the fight to them and fight on their soil." South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham addressed the question of putting U.S. troops directly in the battle against the Islamic State group militants by saying there is only one way to defeat the militants: "You go over there and you fight them so they don't come here." Texas Sen. Ted Cruz suggested an aggressive approach as well. "The way to defeat ISIS is a simple and clear military objective," he said. "We will destroy them." Businesswoman Carly Fiorina offered a similar outlook. "The world is a more dangerous and more tragic place when America is not leading. And America has not led for quite some time," she said. Under Obama, a U.S.-led coalition of Western and Arab countries is conducting regular airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. also has hundreds of military advisers in Iraq helping Iraqi security forces plan operations against the Islamic State, which occupies large chunks of northern and western Iraq. Paul didn't totally reject the use of military force, noting that he recently introduced a declaration of war against the Islamic State group. But in an interview with The Associated Press, he emphasized the importance of diplomacy. He singled out Russia and China, which have complicated relationships with the U.S., as countries that could contribute to U.S. foreign policy interests. "I think the Russians and the Chinese have great potential to help make the world a better place," he said. "I don't say that naively that they're going to, but they have the potential to." Paul suggested the Russians could help by getting Syrian President Bashar Assad to leave power. "Maybe he goes to Russia," Paul said. Despite tensions with the U.S., Russia and China negotiated alongside Washington in nuclear talks with Iran. Paul has said he is keeping an open mind about the nuclear negotiations. "The people who already are very skeptical, very doubtful, may not like the president for partisan reasons," he said, and "just may want war instead of negotiations."
    Read More
  • Some lawmakers, sensing a tipping point, are backing the parents and teachers who complain about 'high stakes' tests   
    Read More
  • Watch Rachel Maddow interview VA Secretary Robert McDonald  
    Read More
  • Some two thousand people pack halls to hear Trayvon Martin's mom speak   
    Read More
load morehold SHIFT key to load allload all

PHOTO GALLERY

The Skanner Photo Archives
Calendar

About Us

Breaking News

The Skanner TV

Turn the pages

Portland Opera Showboat 2
The Skanner Photo Archives