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Newsroom SRS to Rollout Family Assessment and Referral Program

Great Bend - On Friday, February 2, 2007, Secretary Don Jordan will rollout The Family Assessment and Referral Program in Barton County. This program assesses a family's needs during a crisis situation which has resulted in a referral to Juvenile Intake and Assessment Services (JIAS). The program identifies resources that will address the family's needs and results in the child remaining in the home and community.The rollout will be held at 10:30 a.m. in the Heritage Building at 1225 Patton. 

A key element of this referral program is a clinical assessment of the child and the family situation within the first 72 hours of the disruption in the home or community. The program will pair a clinician with the JIAS worker to perform the assessment. A “wrap around” conference will be held during this time frame as well and will include all relevant, available stakeholders: child, family, SRS, school personnel, etc. to determine options for immediately dealing with the situation.  With the assistance and commitment of all involved in the wrap around, a recommendation will be made to the county attorney and the court at the hearing. It is believed that this assertive out-reach will result in children and their families receiving needed services at the time of the disruption. 

“This is a prevention focused program,” said SRS Acting Secretary Don Jordan. “We hope it will help reduce at-risk behaviors and assist families in staying together.” 

In Fiscal Year 2006, there were 418 children assessed in the Juvenile Intake program in Barton County. Of those assessed, 143 or 34 percent were removed from their homes and placed into SRS custody. This placement means 21 youth per 1,000 are being placed in SRS custody, which is one of the highest ratios in the state. 

The contract for program administration was awarded to the Center for Counseling and Consultation in Great Bend. The contract is effect 11/1/06-10/31/07, with an award of $80,000. To date, 29 youth have been referred to the program. Twenty-seven were diverted from being placed in SRS custody for placement outside the home and are receiving services within the community. 

“Through this partnership with SRS and JIAS, we hope to divert children from going into the system,” said Dwight Young, Executive Director of the Center for Counseling and Consultation. “We believe the Family Assessment and Referral Program is an opportunity to intervene and try to find community alternatives to out of home placement of these children.”  

The Family Assessment and Referral Program is part of a larger preventative initiative, the Family Preservation Demonstration Project, which also includes Parenting with Love and Limits and the Health in Pregnancy Program.

Individuals in Barton County interested in learning more about the Family Assessment and Referral Program may contact the Center for Counseling and Consultation at (620) 792-2544.