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Child & Youth Services Committee Meeting

Douglas County, Nebraska

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The meeting convened at 11:00 a.m. in Room 903 of the Omaha-Douglas Civic Center, 1819 Farnam Street, Omaha, NE 68183. A copy of the Open Meetings Act is located on the wall near the entrance of the room. A notice of the meeting was published in the December 30, 2014 issue of The Daily Record. County Commissioner Chris Rodgers was present at the start of the meeting. Others present at the start of the meeting were Patrick Bloomingdale, Pam Murphy, and Karen Cole of Administration; Brad Alexander of the Youth Center (DCYC); Shawne Coonfare of the Juvenile Assessment Center (JAC); and Dan Esch of the Clerk/Comptroller’s office. Commissioner Rodgers conducted the meeting.

  1. 1.Department Updates.

DCYC

County Commissioner Marc Kraft entered the meeting during this topic, as well as Diane Carlson and Catherine Hall of Administration, and Kim Culp of the JAC. Ms. Cole left the meeting during this topic. Speaking during this topic were Mr. Alexander, Commissioner Rodgers, Commissioner Kraft, Mr. Bloomingdale, and Ms. Culp. Highlights from the discussion included the following:

n  Mr. Alexander said DCYC is putting together its annual report.

n  Mr. Alexander said Greg Hepburn of DCYC has been conducting the Pledge for Peace on a monthly basis at DCYC.

n  Mr. Alexander said the EPIC (Encouraging Positive Intelligent Choices) Evening Reporting Center is doing well.

  • Mr. Alexander said it opened on November 12th and there are currently five individuals who report to EPIC.
    • Mr. Alexander said the five individuals came from the HOME (Home on Monitoring Equipment) Program.
    • Mr. Alexander said there will be a meeting with the group to discuss what they have learned so far.

n  Mr. Alexander said Metropolitan Community College is offering dual enrollment programs for the youth at DCYC.

  • Mr. Alexander said there are some youth at DCYC who have graduated from high school, and there are some high school youth who are able to take college classes.
  • Mr. Alexander said there will never be a large group of youth at DCYC who will be able to participate in this, but it’s very beneficial to those who can.

n  Mr. Alexander said DCYC has done a lot of work with family engagement.

  • Mr. Alexander said DCYC has seen an increase in the number of youth receiving visits.
    • Mr. Alexander said DCYC ran some numbers some time ago, and found that youth who do not receive visits within 30 days of being at DCYC have a higher likelihood of returning to the DCYC than those youth who are receiving visits within 30 days.
  • Mr. Alexander said DCYC has someone meeting with families as they show up for visitation, and reaching out to those families who aren’t showing up for visitations.
    • Mr. Alexander said when reaching out to the families, DCYC is looking to see how they can accommodate a family that has either been unable to come in for a visitation or has not felt comfortable coming in for a visitation.
      • Mr. Alexander said work schedules and transportation are some of the obstacles for families who aren’t showing up for visitations.

n  Mr. Alexander said DCYC will need a supplemental budget for grant money it has received from The Sherwood Foundation (Sherwood).

JAC

Speaking during this topic were Ms. Culp, Mr. Bloomingdale, Commissioner Rodgers, Ms. Coonfare, and Commissioner Kraft. Highlights from the discussion included the following:

n  Ms. Culp handed out a sheet which contained some statistics for the JAC.

n  Ms. Culp said Elizabeth McClelland replaced Shakil Malik as the attorney from the County Attorney’s office assigned to the JAC.

  • Ms. Culp said Mr. Malik took a new position in the County Attorney’s Civil Division.
  • Ms. Culp said by law the County Attorney approves placing youth on diversion, so Ms. McClelland’s position has oversight of the work the JAC does.
  • Ms. Culp said Ms. McClelland will be at the JAC Monday afternoons through Thursday afternoons.
    • Ms. Culp said Mr. Malik used to be at the JAC on Monday mornings and Wednesday afternoons, which was done to accommodate his work schedule.
    • Ms. Culp believes having Ms. McClelland at the JAC four days a week will help the JAC move smoother through its case work.  

n  The case flow for the JAC was discussed.

  • Ms. Culp said the JAC would like to receive cases more often and in smaller bunches, such as receiving 15-20 cases at a time, two to three times per week.  
    • Ms. Culp said Ms. McClelland feels the same way.
  • Ms. Culp said what has happened in the past is the JAC would go a week without receiving any cases, then the next week they would receive a large amount of cases at once.
    • Ms. Culp said the JAC’s goal is to have the youth in the JAC office 10-12 days after they receive the case. Ms. Culp said it’s difficult to reach that goal when a large number of cases come in at once.
  • Ms. Culp said the cases start off with the Police Department before they are transferred to the County Attorney.
  • Ms. Culp said since Ms. McClelland started working with the JAC in Mid-December 2014, the cases have been coming over in smaller bunches.

n  Ms. Culp said the JAC may start doing assessments over the telephone for youth who have committed minor offenses.

n  The Community Plan was discussed.

  • Ms. Coonfare said she would like to meet with the Steering Committee members to talk about how the efforts of the Community Plan can fold into the FSG efforts.
    • FSG is the nonprofit consulting firm involved in the Douglas County Juvenile Justice Collective Impact effort.
  • Commissioner Rodgers said since there is a new County Commissioner, he thinks Ms. Coonfare should do a presentation on the Community Plan at a County Board meeting.

n  Ms. Culp said in the upcoming year, 16-year-old and 17-year-old youths will be starting off with the County Attorney’s office instead of going through the City Prosecutor’s office.

  • These are 16-year-old and 17-year-old youth who have committed misdemeanors.
  • Ms. Culp said this could bring about 200-300 more youth referred to the JAC, but she emphasized that the 200-300 figure is an estimate.
    • Ms. Culp said the County Attorney estimates there could be 500-600 more youth referred to them, and 500-600 referrals to the County Attorney’s office usually translates into 200-300 referrals to the JAC.    

n  Ms. Culp said the JAC will be asking for a supplemental budget, which will be covered by grants.

Health Department

There was nothing discussed under this topic.

Juvenile Court

There was nothing discussed under this topic.

JDAI

Speaking to this topic were Commissioner Rodgers and Mr. Bloomingdale. Highlights from the discussion included the following:

n  Mr. Bloomingdale said the County will enter into a contract with State Probation whereby the JDAI Coordinator will be a State Probation employee.

  • Mr. Bloomingdale said the contract is being reviewed by the County Attorney and State Probation.
  • Mr. Bloomingdale said Sherwood will pay half the salary and benefits, and the County will pay half the salary and benefits through its Community Based Aid grant.

2.Other business

Speaking during this item were Mr. Bloomingdale, Commissioner Rodgers, Ms. Culp, Ms. Coonfare, Mr. Alexander, and Commissioner Kraft. Highlights from the discussion included the following:

n  Possible 2015 legislation regarding juvenile justice was discussed.

  • Mr. Bloomingdale said there will likely be a bill, if not multiple bills, introduced regarding GAL (Guardian Ad Litem).
  • Mr. Bloomingdale said he has heard that Senator Krist is drafting a bill that would expand the jurisdiction of juvenile court to the age of 21 in certain circumstances.
  • Mr. Bloomingdale and Ms. Culp said they have heard that there will be additional changes to LB561.
    • LB561, passed in 2013, had the title/one liner of “Change provisions and transfer responsibilities regarding the juvenile justice system.”
  • Ms. Culp said she heard there could be bills introduced that would:
    • Suspend Medicaid, rather than terminate Medicaid, for youth entering into a detention facility.
    • Provide for a more uniform definition of recidivism.
    • Address when youth will be placed on the sexual offender registry.

The meeting adjourned at 12:00 p.m.  

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