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California Cities Gang Prevention Network Bulletin (Bulletin 18)

| Dr. Angela Wolf, Jack Calhoun, Linh Vuong, Hunter Smith

NCCD and the National League of Cities' Institute for Youth, Education, and Families (YEF Institute) present the bulletin for the California Cities Gang Prevention Network. This initiative creates a network of major California cities to combat gang violence and victimization.

Understanding Trauma Through a Gender Lens

| NCCD Center for Girls and Young Women

The majority of youth involved with the juvenile justice system have experienced trauma throughout their lives (Brosky & Lally, 2004; Cauffman et al., 1998). In fact, traumatic events, such as child abuse and domestic violence, place youth at risk of delinquency (Herrera & McCloskey, 2001; Widom, 1995). Research consistently demonstrates a strong relationship between trauma and a host of problem behaviors, especially among girls (Chesney-Lind 1989; Simkins & Katz, 2004). In general, there are important gender differences related to the prevalence, impact, and treatment needs of boys and girls, which require gender-specific responses (Belknap & Holsinger, 2006; Dembo et al., 1992; McCabe et al., 2002). While there is an increasing recognition of the prominent role that trauma plays in the lives of justice system-involved youth, there remains a lack of trauma-related treatment and services to meet their needs and aid in their healing and recovery.

SDM News

| Children's Research Center

Structured Decision Making News, Assessing Child Safety Through an Integrated Practice Model:The Structured Decision Making® System and Signs of Safety 

In Search of Evidence-Based Practice in Juvenile Corrections: An Evaluation of Florida's Avon Park Youth Academy and Street Smart Program

| National Council on Crime and Delinquency

An evaluation of the Avon Park Youth Academy and Street Smart Program (APYA/SS) program. The evaluation demonstrated that the program has the potential to join the modest but growing list of evidence-based practices in juvenile corrections. However, NCCD evaluators recommended that program modifications and further research may be needed for APYA/SS to fully achieve the status of an evidence-based practice. 

2010 Spring Webinar - Executive Function in Self-neglecting Adult Protective Services Referrals Compared with Elder Psychiatric Outpatients

| Moderated by Kathy Park

Jason Schillerstrom, M.D., of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio describes recent research findings detailing the prevalence of general cognitive, executive function, and visuospatial impairments, as well as depression in APS clients referred to psychiatry for a decision making capacity evaluation. The significance of disproportionate executive impairments will be discussed and webinar participants will specifically learn how clock drawing tasks can be used to screen for cognitive impairments relevant to decision making capacity. (Materials: CLOX I, slide presentation, webinar Q&A) 

Structuring Decisions in Adult Protective Services

| Katherine Park, Kristen Johnson, PhD, Shannon Flasch, Andrea Bogie, MSW

A new NCCD Focus article, "Structuring Decisions in Adult Protective Services," describes the value of structured decision frameworks in the growing field of adult protective services (APS). The article highlights findings on risk factors for future adult maltreatment from research literature as well as NCCD's efforts to develop an actuarial-based risk assessment for APS in partnership with the New Hampshire Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services under a grant from the National Institute of Justice.

Healthy Returns Initiative: Strengthening Mental Health Services in the Juvenile Justice System

| National Council on Crime and Delinquency

Youth in the juvenile justice system suffer from a variety of mental illnesses, and, if not treated, these issues can become worse. The published literature shows that most of the youth in the system suffer from a debilitating mental illness. Lack of health care coverage also represents a major issue, as there are few services available to youth who do not have coverage.

The Extravagance of Imprisonment Revisited

| Linh Vuong, Christopher Hartney, Barry Krisberg, Susan Marchionna

This report analyzes prison and jail populations in the US as a whole and in four key states -- California, Florida, New York, and Texas -- to determine 1) how many prisoners are nonserious offenders and what it costs to lock them up, 2) what proven effective alternatives are in use and what they cost, and 3) what savings could be realized if a portion of the nonserious offenders were sentenced to alternatives instead of prison and jail.

California Department of Social Services Validation of the SDM® Reunification Reassessment

| Dennis Wagner, PhD, Andrea Bogie, MSW

CRC examined a sample of 21,000 children placed in foster care in 17 California counties to (1) examine the relationships between workers’ family strengths and needs assessment (FSNA) findings and child reunification; (2) identify common barriers to reunification; (3) assess the relationship between worker-scored California reunification reassessment (CRR) findings and foster care reentry; and (4) identify practice issues and recommend changes in assessment implementation that may improve performance. The FSNA is used to assess areas of caregiver functioning, including substance abuse, mental health, and social support, shortly after placement entry. It helps workers develop case plans and identify areas of need that the family needs to address to expedite the child’s return home. Workers complete the CRR at six-month intervals after the initial placement to assess case plan progress, visitation, and household safety before returning a child home.

Developing the Welfare-to-Work Participation and Employability Appraisal Screening: A Retrospective Study

| Kristen Johnson, PhD, Shannon Flasch, Kathy Park, Dennis Wagner, PhD

CalWORKs recipients, unless exempt, are required to participate in welfare-to-work (WTW) program activities as a condition of receiving cash aid. A number of clients, however, may have issues that impede successful engagement in WTW program activities, such as substance abuse, mental health concerns, or domestic violence issues. The Riverside County (California) Department of Mental Health (RCDMH) and the Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) sought to develop a structured case management system to help ensure early identification of WTW customers with barriers to employment and, if necessary, to help facilitate quicker engagement in services to address those barriers and move customers into successful employment. A key component of the structured case management system is an actuarial appraisal screening to help identify those customers most in need of support to make a successful transition to self-sufficiency. This report describes the study conducted by Children’s Research Center (CRC) to develop an appraisal screening that classifies customers by the likelihood of subsequent WTW program participation and employment. Employment counselors can complete the screening assessment soon after WTW assignment to help identify which customers are in greatest need of additional support and engagement to increase the likelihood of successful program participation.