Aftercare planning actually begins just after a youth is ordered by a court to be admitted to an out-of-home treatment program. During the process of selecting an appropriate treatment setting, a DJS case management specialist will review reports that measure the youth's risk assessments and needs. Based on those standardized measurements, the case management specialist will select an appropriate treatment program and, additionally, create a plan to link a youth to community services to improve the chances of success after treatment is completed and he or she returns home.
Services provided to the youth upon his or her return to the community are designed to assist the youth in working through family issues, teach life skills and continue the progress made during the treatment program. Some of these community services include:
These programs are designed to get family members involved in the youth's success in the community. Family members can include immediate family such as parents or siblings or extended family members such as grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. A family engagement program focuses on the strengths of the family network and encourages family members to participate in the youth's life and encourage positive behavior in the community.
For the youth returning home from out-of-home placement who received mental health services during their treatment, continuation of mental health services in the community is essential a youth's success. When appropriate, DJS case management specialist will incorporate referrals to mental health specialists in aftercare plans to ensure that the progress made during treatment will continue.
DJS case management specialist can incorporate substance abuse services into an aftercare plan, when appropriate, to ensure that a youth receives the support he or she needs to avoid going back to abusing drugs in the community. To hold youth accountable, DJS case managers will contact the substance abuse program to determine whether the youth is actually attending and schedule random drug screens.
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