The Center for Restorative Practice (CFRP) has been working with the Department of Health and Human Services (division of social services) since the inception of the Youth Pilot Program (Initially called AB1741). The “Fiscal Year” information reflects the actual information reported to the State regarding our work with the County and our “Family Network” process and data. The Center for Restorative Practice was formerly called the “Coordinated Youth Services Council (CYSC).” All references to CYSC should be noted now as “CFRP.”
When trying to determine the effectiveness of a program, funders and evaluators will often look at the financial impact of a program. Taking this view into account, the Youth Pilot Program’s fiscal savings information is quite impressive. The Youth Pilot Program, or YPP as it is often referred to, is not a program in and of itself; YPP is more so a funding stream. Marin County Health and Human Services – Department of Social Services elected to utilize the Center for Restorative Practice’s Family Network model of Family Team Meetings. The primary goal of our family team meetings is to help families come together with their support network and the professionals who are involved in their life to create an agreed upon plan to help keep the child or children safe in the home. The parents are the primary driver of the plan with input from those members that they have selected to be a part of their team. The “risk factors” that could cause the child to be placed out-of-the home or what is normally referred to as a “higher level of care” is/are the focus of the team meetings. The family’s strengths are identified to help address the “risk factors” and if the family’s skill level requires support, the team’s job is to help address this by helping to get the family the needed services.
There is not necessarily a direct cause and effect relationship between spending more money and getting better outcomes. Also, the same is true with spending less money; i.e., that if you show a savings in the program, it does not mean that the program was more successful or had better outcomes. A few key areas that we have noticed that helps families to show positive outcomes are:
1. Their investment and involvement in the process and if they feel that their family plan is their plan because it was created by them.
2. When team members are really chosen by the family.
3. When families are held accountable in a respectful way.
4. When funds are available to really help with a need and are tied to the plan that the family is working on.
While this list is not exhaustive, these are some of the key areas that we have observed.
The “fiscal year” information is from our fiscal year July 1st – June 30th of each of the years presented.
We have been able to show quite consistently that children that are referred to us (even though we get the children right before placement is to occur) have been able to be maintained in the home or in their current living setting which may be a relative or foster home. It should be noted that most of the families that we work with, the children are in the home with a parent or their parents.