Connections - Specialized Probation for youth with identified behavioral health issues
Connections is a community-based, collaborative juvenile justice and behavioral health program that uses a strength-based wraparound approach to address the needs of juvenile offenders with significant emotional and behavioral challenges and their families. Balanced and restorative justice principles and values are incorporated in plans to increase youths’ skills, provide services to victims, and increase public safety. Connections staff are combined into teams consisting of a mental health professional serving as a Care Coordinator, a Family Assistance Specialist who is a parent peer, a Probation Counselor, and a Juvenile Services Associate.
• The Care Coordinator facilitates wraparound team meetings with youth, families, and team members to identify strengths, determine needs, and locate or create services and supports.
• The Family Assistance Specialist provides emotional and practical support, often by advocating for families in meetings and navigating systems and community resources. They ensure that the family voice is heard.
• The Probation Counselor ensures that services promote community safety and is responsible for ongoing supervision of court orders.
• The Probation Associate works closely with youth to complete requirements of the wraparound plan. They also work as mentors, accompanying youth in the community to activities, assisting in skill building and assuring that the youth’s voice is heard.
Connections is a team-based approach that works to overcome barriers to success in a strengths-based manner. We use an evidence-based model to assist the youth and family in developing goals and taking the steps to reach those goals.
The Components of Our Model
The Wraparound Model
Wraparound differs from many service delivery strategies, in that it provides a comprehensive, holistic, youth and family-driven way of responding when youth experience behavioral challenges. In addition to assessing for risks and needs, the Wraparound process prioritizes youth and family voice and choice. With support from the team of professionals and the family’s natural supports, the family’s ideas and perspectives will drive the focus of the wraparound process. With the help of the team, the youth and family develop a team vision, mission, and goals. Team members work together to put the plan into action, monitor how well it’s working, and change it if needed.
Jeff Olsen, Program Manager
Dr. Christine Krause, Staff Psychologist
Janet Bentley-Jones, Care Coordinator
Latu Fonokalafi, Probation Counselor
Rick Mason, Probation Associate
Michelle Karnath, Family Assistance Specialist
Chris Duclos, Care Coordinator
Michelle Mayhugh, Probation Counselor
Jackie Rademacher, Probation Associate
Robin Helm, Family Assistance Specialist
Allison Stuart, Care Coordinator
Ella Derania Gonzalez, Probation Counselor
Jessie Brooks, Probation Associate
Heather Mason, Family Assistance Specialist