About Us

The Center for Restorative Practice was originally called the Coordinated Youth Services Council.

Under this title as the Coordinated Youth Services Council (CYSC): CYSC was formed as a private, non-profit partnership composed of five public agencies (Social Services, Mental Health, Juvenile Probation, Education and Public Health) and seventeen private agencies. The agency was established in 1990 to serve children and families in Marin County to help improve services for high-risk children and their families by creating and operating a coordinated service delivery system of centralized intake, assessment and case management that was multi-disciplinary, non-jurisdictional and “client/family-centered.”

The Center for Restorative Practice (CFRP) is a private non-profit organization in Marin County that is dedicated to restorative, team-based and collaborative responses to family problems. We are well-known locally for “Family Network,®” our model of family group decision-making that has been the centerpiece of Marin County’s “Youth Pilot Project” since its inception. Systemically, our goals have been to 1. Reduce Marin County’s overall out-of-home placement rates and 2. Help families succeed in reducing the “risk factors” that brought the minor or family to the attention of child welfare, juvenile justice, mental health and special education systems.

Prior to July 2014: The Youth Pilot Project was a State Program in which funds that are set aside to place children/youth in group and foster care homes were used to serve qualifying minors and their families to keep children/youth in their own home. The idea was to keep these minors safely in the home when possible by using the Youth Pilot Project funds to pay for services when the services needed could not be obtained for 1. Free, 2. The cost of the service exceeded the family’s ability to pay, or 3. When a specialized service was needed. Marin County’s Health and Human Services contracted with CFRP to facilitate teams by using our Family Network Model.

As of July 1, 2014 The Youth Pilot Program is no longer a program supported by the State. During the time that CFRP worked with the Youth Pilot Program, it was able to help keep an average of over 85% of children served out of foster care or from going to a higher level of care. CFRP is grateful to the Department of Social Service – Children and Family Service (CFS) for their partnership. NOW A NEW CHAPTER BEGINS; CFRP and the Department of Social Services (CFS) will continue to work together to serve families in Marin County. Our current focus with CFS will be to help reduce the recidivism of families and minors that the Department serves. While Marin County has had one of the lowest placement rates throughout the State, they have on the other end had one of the highest recidivism rates in the State. We will seek to help families who are primarily involved in “Family Reunification” and “Family Maintenance” with CFS. Our time frame in working with families referred to us will be from 6-9 months. We anticipate that meetings with the families will be more frequent than we have had in the past under the Youth Pilot Program with some tweaks within the structure of the meeting themselves. While it has been a popular statement to say that “It takes a village to raise a child,” I actually believe that it takes parents to raise children and family and friends can be helpful to this end. It is important when helping families to have a place where honest discussions can take place. The meetings where everyone wants to just “feel-good” without doing the hard work will often have superficial results. We hope to continue to help families and teams feel supported and do the hard work that helps keep families together.

The Center for Restorative Practice